Sunday, December 27, 2009


...and this is Philly station, or, more exactly, the view from the cab line, the moon rising over downtown Philadelphia. And next time I will be more careful, when reserving a hotel room, to get one with wi-fi ... so much for planning a massive catch-up session with email and admin and and and - let alone writing this, which has necessitated huddling on a bench in the convention hall and paying an on-line fee - fair enough in the confines of a comfortable hotel room, but the only on-line access available there is via a data port, and I don't have with me the necessary attachment for a MacBook Air.

These pillars imply grandeur, which might be appropriate for the city, but hardly for the MLA, which as ever is an unnerving experience, being in such proximity to massed anxiety. I've just been in a panel on affect, which seems highly appropriate for this convention, where, like any big conference, it's all about affect - whether as speaker or job seeker, the circumstances breed disquiet, claustrophobia, glancing nervously round doorframes; awareness of status (in the eyes of others), or lack of status (in one's own apprehension); wondering whether someone's recognized one or not - MLA law says that people whom one wants to be recognized by fail to show any sign of recollecting that you've ever met, whereas those who one would rather avoid pop up when one least expects them); trying to remember names without too obviously glancing at name tags (sometimes there are advantages in being 5'2" - one's eyes are nametag height)... and all of this is before one gets to the anxiety of visibility, sitting typing a blog post in a very public space.

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