March 17, 2004

Let the ball be cheese

Category: Wholesome — Biella @ 10:37 pm


So some readers will automatically jump to read the conclusion of a book. I rarely do that but always read the acknowledgements first. It is first of all, a fascinating genre that admits to the deeply collaborative, conversational nature of our work (in a way that our larger texts are not allowed to do because the convention is to only cite that which is printed already) and it is an intellectual compass, directing one to the broader intellectual milleu and genealogy through which the works was produced.

I also find it highly (perhaps way to much) entertaining to see the immense variation of the basic following confession:

1. The work is indebted to the insights, suggestions, advice, criticisms of [x] others
2. So much so
3. That only the good stuff should be attributable to others
4. And that the bad stuff is of my own making

This basic confession can be said so many ways that it astonishes me and I love to mull over the fine distinctions and differences in what boils down to a pretty similar message.

I did not think beyond this although now that I have been writing so much, it so strikes me as an accurate confessional and unfortunately one that is so limited in scope. I was recently pleased to see this confessional in the actual introduction of Michael Warner’s book, Publics and Counterpublics, which makes me like it more than I already do.

As I write my dissertation, there are clearly so many ideas of “mine” that really emerged in conversation, as outright suggestion, or magically appeared through some weird state of assocation from what someone else said or told me. It is fantastically endless.

Members of my dissertation committee have blown me away by their suggestions, in part because this world of geekdom is not you know, their area of expertise. Yet each member within like a 15 minute description of my musing, had some insight or question that put a lot of “out of place” material, back into place.

Then there are those, most notably, patrice, mako, ck, golub, and micah who are all very familar for various reasons with the worlds I am trying to evaluate. Each of them has pushed me into directions and places I don’t think I could have ever gone on my own. I know I am starting to sound cheeseballish but what can I say, let the ball be cheese. It is true.

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