Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I play squash once a week with Aidan and Will and whoever else is around and not sick or injured. The doors leading into the squash courts are very small, and open onto a private space that is only visible from the outside through a small, smudged plexiglass window. The courts, with their white walls and minimal markings, could be holding cells from THX-1138. The ceilings are probably 20' high. The acoustics inside are very strange--it is nearly impossible to understand what someone is saying, even standing just a few feet away, but you can hear the shouts and strikes in neighboring courts clearly. The flourescent lights produce a slightly different shade of illumination in each court.


czar said...

I know exactly what you're describing. The courts at the high school I attended in NYC looked exactly the same thirty-something years ago. They've since renovated them, and I'm sure took all the charm away.

I have enjoyed looking around your site a bit. Please visit mine. If indeed you're ABD or know others who are, knowing I'm out there might come in handy one day.


Nat Hansen said...

Hi, glad you enjoyed checking out the blog. I am indeed ABD (though I'm working on that), and am surrounded by other people in the same situation. I'll spread the word about your work, though grad students in the final stages of dissertation work have burned through most of their fellowship support and will probably have to choose between paying for proofreading and paying for food. Or the internet.

When you make an index, do you ever include any entries for comic effect? As an example of what I have in mind, consider the index entry for "Hegel" in Terry Pinkard's Hegel: A Biography, which includes, among others, the following entries:

beer, 85, 248
coffee, fondness for, 248, 380, 434, 513, 621, 655
love of costumes...
napping on sofa...
visiting jailed students while on a skiff at midnight, ...

It seems the index is often a missed opportunity for self-expression.

czar said...


Given that I'm always doing work for hire, joke entries would typically seem to be a way to work myself out of future employment, so I need to be careful.

Having said that, I was working for a professor one time who wanted me to put three entries in the index that referred to friends and relatives of his . . . who did not appear in the book. I explained to him that I had job security to worry about, but he told me he had already cleared it with the press. So the entries appeared.

My favorite two index entries, though, appeared in a book I worked on called, if I remember correctly, Sanctity and Male Desire. The subject was, essentially, which of the saints were gay. The author went as far as to opine even whether they were top or bottom. (I often use this book to tweak fundamentalists when they find out I work for, among others, religious presses.)

The entries were:

underwear fetish, author's


anal intercourse, spiritual aspects of

In my line of work, you just don't get many such opportunities.

Thanks for the response. Do feel free to pass my name around. If nothing else, it leads to fun exchanges like this one. And once you get that degree and you're in the publish-or-perish vortex -- and the universities often set up funds to pay for indexing on books their professors are publishing -- you'll already know someone who will be happy to handle the work.

Best of luck,