June 10th, 2002

Fishy Circumstances


Yesterday was one of those days which sounds really full and satisfying and busy. It's not that it wasn't, but it didn't feel particularly busy - and maybe not even full - at the time. L. had recommended a brunch place called Swan - which we were going to try until I looked it up in the food guidebook and thought it sounded like a place I'd feel awkward going to when looking too grungy. Why were we so inelegantly dressed? Because right after brunc (at Luna, in the end), we headed off, via a bookstore (SF/F), to the Beaches, where C. rollerbladed for an hour and a half and I read. C. is looking more much competent now, even if he hasn't been blading all winter. He's not flailing the way he used to last summer and looks rather comfortable on wheels. Afterwards, a brief wander through an Arts and Crafts fair which happened to be going on in the area, and then home to do laundry and try out a new way to bake chicken (boneless, skinless fillets, with oil, wrapped in tin foil). It worked out after we gave the chicken 5 more minutes than it was meant to need.

Today: Important thing is to work on polishing off the 2000 paper. You'd have thought I would have done this a year or two ago but no, I never ended up turning in the final version to the office. I need to fill in all the little missing spaces and footnotes. An added bonus for the day would be if I could find my RA hours sheet. I really need it. Good thing: Dinner at L.'s house with Cat and C.
Fishy Circumstances


We have the best deck. I had lunch up in the sunshine today. It's one of those approximately perfect weather-days, blue skies, sunshine, warm, but not hot. The honeysuckle is nearly abloom with lovely pink buds all over it and lushly green. The deck furniture is comfortable and a soft wind blowing, and off in the distance, horns honking Portugal's victory over Poland this morning. It's almost too bad that upstairs is nowhere near the phone outlet and thus I'd have to give up networking to go outside with the computer, which isn't quite feasible at the moment since I'm working on a word processor over VNC at the moment.

Just got news - no TA appointment for next year! I'll be able to do dissertation work and this up the odds of me finishing in time!
Fishy Circumstances

(no subject)

Today was medium-productive. I edited a measly 8 pages, but I think I did it well, and it did necessitate reading an article I hadn't read in a while (outdoors, on the deck, in the sunshine, it's true.) 39 pages to go this week!

And I don't have a TAship this fall which means the odds of me completing my dissertation in time are improved!
Fishy Circumstances

Brian Copenhaver

One form of extremely productive fidgeting in between trying to get my much-needed editing done this week involved finding out who these scholars are, the ones whose articles and books I've been working through. Brian Copenhaver is the first of these for the week. Back in '78 he wrote an immensely useful article in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (vol. 41) entitled "The Historiography of Discovery in the Renaissance: The Sources and Composition of Polydore Vergil's De Inventoribus Rerum, I-III." UCLA's web site is full of information about him - happily - since he's currently provost of the College of Arts and Sciences and has, over the course of his career, published 50+ articles and a handful of books, the most current of which is the culmination of the work which inspired this particular article in the first place. This month - yes, June, 2002 - his edition of Polydore Vergil's De Inventoribus Rerum comes out in Harvard's I Tatti Renaissance series.

Polydore Vergil's work deals with the question of who invented what when from a Renaissance perspective. Unlike Torcelli, he wasn't too concerned with recent inventions, but cared a great deal what the classical authors had to say on the subject. The whole heurematologic tradition is substantive - Pliny's the earliest big name whose work is still extant who was in the business. This particular work was Polydore Vergil's most influential at the time, even if not particularly what he was remembered for today (A book of proverbs is what gets him attention these days, evidently). He's interesting for the range of classical sources he used, his commentaries on the subject, and the simple fact that yes, this was a successful book in his day.

(d_benway recently mentioned Poggio Bracciolini, who translated Diodorus Siculus' history - which makes me wonder, not having done any further homework on the subject - did Polydore Vergil use Bracciolino's translation?)