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Friday, April 14, 2006


So, I'm not at SAA this year. Nor was I there last year, in Bermuda, though I took a secret pleasure (not so secret now) at hearing that it rained the whole time. But, despite not being there, I'm going to blog about it anyway.

Now, the usual thing I tell my grad students at State U is that SAA is one of the best conferences because you actually meet people, and you learn stuff in the seminars, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah. (That's me from my grad students' point of view, sounding like one of the adult characters on Charlie Brown). And I do believe that. But the problem with SAA? Social suffocation. It's all Renaissance people. And not the way RSA is Renaissance people, where you can disappear in the crowd of Professors Dryasdust and Casaubon, who work on German translations of Italian madrigals, without feeling obligated or implicated in any way. It's all English Renaissance, Shakespeare-types. All the time. Parts of it I enjoy. But parts of it generate a prodigious desire to flee. And those parts are especially the receptions and -- the real heart of darkness -- the dance.

Yes, the dance. I hope we'll be hearing from Truewit and Simplicius on that one. A nice photo-essay perhaps? Complete with cell-phone shots of our favorite early modern illuminati getting down. Or, perhaps, up on it. Whatever they prefer.

Ah, SAA. I miss it already.

  • At 4/14/2006 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Inkhorn wrote…

    I'm realizing that this sounds like a pretty mean-spirited post. I do like SAA. But it has its pains, too.

    In conclusion, then, I'd like to retract everything I said.


  • At 4/14/2006 04:14:00 PM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    See, this is why you are the Reluctant Blogger.


  • At 4/14/2006 04:14:00 PM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    By the way, the reception in Bermuda was pretty great actually. Lots of good food and drinks. No dancing.


  • At 4/14/2006 06:43:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    The reception in Philadelphia really will go down as one of the worst ever. An older member fainted. Fainted! As in, taken to the hospital and all, apparently, due to the cramped conditions and the heat. So in addition to the social suffocation, we almost had literal suffocation.


  • At 4/14/2006 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    I'm just glad you said something, inkhorn. And may I say that you have the best of the four pseudonyms.


  • At 4/15/2006 05:10:00 PM, Blogger Inkhorn wrote…

    Thanks! What else, for a nerdy Renaissance blog, but the Renaissance word for "nerdy"? Well, close enough.


 Scribble some marginalia

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