Alas and alack! That SAT essay I was telling you about in my last newsletter is finished but the editors are still sitting on it. I’ll have to link to it in another missive. Special thanks to my Imaginative Writing class for helping me with the ending.
Meanwhile, you may console yourself with this one, a set of suggestions for integrating Humanities undergraduates in actual scholarly research that I’ve just published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Those editors hacked off the last section of the essay because I was running long (imagine!), so if you’d like to read the original ending, here it is: Director’s Cut!
That other essay I published at Mockingbird about a classroom exercise was generally well-received (thanks to those of you who took the time to drop a line of encouragement) but got one–just one–hater. Taylor Swift and Austin Kleon helped me through the ordeal, which I wrote about here.
Meantime, I realized that I owe you an explanation. In my list of best things about last year, I promised you some details about a new academic project. Here they are:
I have signed a contract with Edinburgh University Press to bring out a scholarly edition of an epic poem from Victorian Britain, Philip James Bailey’s Festus. It’s a dazzling work of theology and imagination, and reading it the first time was one of the 5 top reading experiences of my life. (What would the others be, I wonder…off the top of my head:
hmm. That was not so hard as I expected. Do you keep such lists? Not the five best books, but top reading experiences: the encounters that struck deepest?
Anyway, then I found out that this poem I’d been reading is one of the most influential poems in English history, like, right up there with Milton in terms of effect on the genre, and well, I’ve more or less been obsessed ever since. So I’m thrilled that EUP has agreed to publish it in book form. It’ll be the first time the book will be available for the general public to read for over 100 years. Stay tuned to this newsletter or to my twitter: I’ll have notes on my progress along the way.