Sorry for the gap between posts here. Things have been very busy but it’s the kind of busy that produces results, which will be duly reported here when Bede’s famous dictum is duly fulfilled. Also, I will finish blogging Kalamazoo in the coming seven days I hope. Meanwhile, though, here’s a short thing I originally wanted to post before I went, which I will ironically precede with an almost-irrelevant long thing! Here:
You see, it is the nature of the Internet that it tends towards a huge ever-growing pulsating brain that rules from the centre of the ultraworld, or at least it grows all the time and once I thought of the phrase there was no turning back. Anyway, I should not be surprised by the fact that while I was preparing for Kalamazoo (of which more at the weekend) I discovered things on the Internet that once were not there, in fact, quite recently weren’t there. But both gave me to such joy that I want to share.
The first of these is that my old friend, indeed one of my oldest friends, Carl Anderson, has joined the blogosphere and you can find him at The High Plains Drifter. This has been going since March, and indeed I’d noticed him turning up in comments at Wormtalk and Slugspeak, but took my own sweet time working out that this probably meant there was a blog, since Carl has never been shy about putting his words on the Internet except perhaps where they were sung. The blog has some linguistic content I can’t really follow, not least because Carl’s experience runs from Scandinavian to Meso-American languages, medieval and modern, but when I mention that his last few posts are about H. P. Lovecraft, Old and New World multiculturalism as it relates to fantasy writing, proto-Canaanite inscriptions in Egypt and the late Ronnie James Dio, you’ll maybe see how he and I have some overlapping interests. Worth a visit, I submit.
The other is a bit more of an alloyed joy. Checking back for I don’t remember what at the Fundació Noguera’s pages for its Col·lecció Diplomataris that I mentioned a little while back, I saw with some shock that they’ve uploaded still more and that that includes an edition of the charters of Sant Pere de Casserres.1 Now, you may remember that these are documents in which I am deeply interested, I’ve spent time with them, in fact I presented at Leeds about them last year. The work I did for that however revealed that another archive trip would be necessary to finish the paper, and as I’ve been moaning there hasn’t been time. Well: no need any longer! The stuff I wanted, which was all in copies so no real benefit from seeing the originals, is in this edition, and so is quite a lot more I hadn’t realised had been registered in various places. So I have my work cut out a little bit but I can finish that paper, almost any time I can free the time to do some reading. This is surely good, right? Well, certainly, and it’s very grateful to Irene Llop and the Fundació for making it possible that I am, to be sure.
It’s just… I did go and spend a chunk of archive time on this stuff. It was part of a bigger mission of getting some stuff done with unpublished material, partly for exclusivity and partly because of reviewers of my paper submissions saying things like “it is not even clear that the writer has seen the original documents” and so on, which smarted because often I hadn’t, even though that shouldn’t have invalidated the sort of conclusions I was drawing. So here I was making sure that wouldn’t happen, and of course I didn’t move fast enough and now they’re out. But, you know, someone could have said, at the various archives the stuff is located where Dr Llop must also have worked, “Sabia que alguna treballi per una edició d’aquells?”, to which I would probably have gone, “… Uh, em disculpeu: en anglés, si us plau?” and they could have said, “Someone is working on a printing of these documents”. And then I’d have been able to move even faster and Dr Llop might have benefitted from my Leeds paper and generally, I wish I had the sort of contacts that might have made this less of a surprise and might have let me keep that unique selling point a bit longer. That said, what I was saying about the preservation is not said in Dr Llop’s edition and the other things I was doing with the evidence are still new; I still have a paper and now I can finish it sooner. So I’m not really complaining, just, wistful for the exclusive that will now not be.
1. Irene Llop (ed.), Col·lecció Diplomàtica de Sant Pere de Casserres, Diplomataris 44 (Barcelona 2009).