I am unpacking my library. I have given away a good photocopy of Robert Young’s White Mythologies, a book I would like to have available, because it is a photocopy. I am about to give away good paperback copies of Bakhtin’s Rabelais and Beverley and Zimmerman’s Literature and Politics in the Central American Revolutions, because I keep on not reading them.
I am lightening my book load so that I can see what I have. I keep coming back to essentials, things I accumulated in graduate school because they were truly difficult to come by (then). They might be available online now, we will see.
I have my father’s books. I like these, the books from long ago, that signified one could have knowledge and work. A work. I am arranging these books and my books, letting their air blow through me, and I am satisfied.
I learned in academia that in order to survive it one must be a perfect prisoner. One must allow and tolerate any form of mistreatment, yet survive, and not complain, and produce a great deal. One must renounce all individuality, all humanity, and all desire, so as to avoid the worst tortures and remain alive until liberation or release.
Truly good prisoners would be able to become famous writers from prison, it was said, but I noted that I would only be able to conserve my ideas to write on later.
I am digging them out.