I was bored yesterday. I was avoiding the pile of Dostoevsky essays to mark because I am completely unequipped to evaluate papers on big topics. Tell me about Khiukel'beker's (mis)use of elegiac dystich. Tell me about Lermontov's use of colour. Tell me about something small, something technical, something formal. Please link them to a greater context, though! I'm all ears. I'm fascinated. Tell me about faith in The Brothers Karamazov. Tell me about the exact nature of Prince Myshkin's idiocy. Tell me about how beauty will save the world. I don't know what to do other than assume in the last instance that you didn't actually read The Idiot. Or I could fall asleep. See, I don't care. If I wanted to know about truth, beauty, and morality, I would a nice philosophical tract. I would not read a dramatization of said nice philosophical tract featuring mentally imbalanced men and shrieking women.

I digressed. I was avoiding my marking by googling former fellow youth symphony geeks. Other than the one who won a Rhoades Scholarship back in 1998, they seem to either have names too common to allow me to find info on them, or they are free-lance musicians touring with too-hip-for-me Seattle-area bands. I suddenly feel old and unaccomplished. People googling me will be impressed that I'm working on a doctorate in a small field, won't they? Won't they? That's what I thought. -Zh.


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