I am not well. I went to stay with J's brother and his gf in their stately home near Horsham last weekend, which was interesting - it's a Victorian Gothic homestead dating from 1862; I'm just starting to get a feel for how much longer-ago that is here - but clearly leaving the house was not good for me and I have been in bed for most of the last three days, alternately reading Prosthesis and school stories from the 20s and 30s.
I'm sure I remember J telling me that boys' school stories were just as soppy as girls', but so far this is Not True (and in fact she denies saying it now, so maybe I made it up): Tony Hits Out!, despite a promising title, turned out to be mostly about football, pirates and spies, while Pat's Third Term, despite sounding about as generic as it's possible to get, was entirely about Pat and Rhoda's love for each other. The best one, though, was Evelyn Finds Herself, which is pretty much a diagram of why I love school stories: I like books about people being sensible about their feelings. It's the same reason as why I love Diana Wynne Jones (and Dennis Cooper, come to think of it). By 'sensible' I mean... um, something like: turning the same attention to their feelings as they do to their work (and Evelyn Finds Herself is one of my favourite kinds of school stories in that regard, too, in that it's about work, not just sport. Also it has lesbians, so it is pretty much perfect).
Hmm, and Ruby Ferguson's Jill books have a lot of sensible feelings in them, too. Sensible feelings plus a passion for something outward-turned: magic in DWJ, violence in Dennis Cooper, botany in Evelyn Finds Herself, ponies for Jill...
But no, luckily the fact that it's too late to get anything out in time for the RAE publication deadline in December 2007 means that my lightest thought is no longer making me go Hmm, could I write an article about that? Who'd publish it? Which is lucky because I've just realized I have quite a daunting schedule for the next umyear: I'm scheduled to write three new conference papers (one on Daniel Deronda and Melissa Lukashenko's Hard Yards; one on archive fever in Lucan's De Bello Civili; and one on Agamben's Homo Sacer and the end of Vergil's Aeneid); and a book chapter (on intergenerational desire and the relationship to antiquity in Derrida's The Post Card); to write up my Queer Space paper into a book chapter (on slash, queer reading and utopia); to teach two (completely) new MA units, one new (to me) undergraduate course and a few old ones; and to organize a workshop on Teh Novel, Ancient and Modern.
Oh, and finish this book, of course.