Random Pre-Kalamazoo Thoughts

08 May

I had hoped to put up a followup post on Symmachus before heading to Kalamazoo but while I’m about 750 words into one, I don’t think I’m going to finish it by the time I leave.

Last week I posted about the Statues of Late Antiquity Project, even though the database wasn’t yet active. It is now and it’s SWEET! I haven’t messed with it a ton but the search options seem to work fairly well. Since I’ve been reading on him I did a search using the terms “Symmachus” and “Rome” and came up with 10 results. Now only one of those was for Q. Aurelius but I was pretty happy with it anyway.

I’ve underplanned for Kalamazoo I’m afraid but I’ll get that figured out. Last year I had a feeling going in that I’d pretty much go to sessions, buy books and be an antisocial SOB the rest of the time because of a project I was working on at the time that had gained some urgency right then. Not so this year. I’m planning to take absolutely no work from my real job with me. However I’ve made zero social plans.

Speaking of books, I am hoping for a return to sanity this year. For me, sanity means that my book haul will be in the 30’s, not in the 60’s like it was last year and the year before.

How might I do this? you may ask. Or maybe you may not, but I have been. Right now, 24 hours before leaving, my thoughts are that I will buy nothing on the Carolingians. There are two reasons for this. First, at this moment I have 24 books on the Carolingians on my to-read shelf (one of them anyway). That is sufficient. Second, my reading up on early Christianity is taking a while. I shouldn’t be surprised by this as I had 37 books to go through when I started and have bought more but I was going to start from the late 4th/early 5th centuries and work backwards right to reading the New Testament. Er, I’m still in the late 4th century, working on a new micro-periodization which seems to exist between Julian and the death of Theodosius, or roughly 360-395. I still have Evagrius Ponticus, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and others to read. This will take a while. I won’t be working my way forward to the Carolingians for quite some time. Last year I bought 33 Carolingian Books at Kalamazoo. Cutting these out of my menu will help a LOT.

I’ve tried one other strategy. In past years, knowing I would be buying tons of books at Kalamazoo, I imposed a book buying moratorium on myself starting from when I registered in early February. I’ve come to wonder if the result has been the same as for any other addiction/obsession where I overindulge once I proverbially “fall off the wagon” – and in a veritable den of sin, at least when it comes to the availability of books. There was no moratorium this year. If I came across something I really wanted, I bought it (within reason – I still have nothing published by Brill or any volumes of the PLRE). We’ll see how that works.

Hopefully I’ll see some of you there. As of now I’m leaning toward no prior social planning on my part. I haven’t done that in several years but I remember the first few years I attended when I’d hang around at wine events, drinking crummy wine (it’s improved – I now consider it mediocre which, considering it’s poured from gallon jugs, ain’t bad) and frequently a conversation with someone turned into, “A bunch of us are going to _____ later, why don’t you join us?” I’m yearning for those aforementioned free-spirited days.


Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Books, Conferences, Resources


Tags: , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Random Pre-Kalamazoo Thoughts

  1. Michael Tinkler

    May 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Nice to meet you – and I agree about the Last Statues of Antiquity project…I’m already working on paper assignments for my fall Early Medieval course that will force them to use the database!

  2. Curt Emanuel

    May 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    It was great meeting you as well. I was just about to put up a quick Thursday Kalamazoo update. Fun stuff, especially if another medieval “character” or two would appear on the blogs.


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