#10 The Wallace Archive (A Research Visit amidst Personal Musings) – a temporary break with blog convention (well this one) as I conduct research at The Harry Ransom Center, Austin, TX

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sign your name across my heart… (q. terence trent d’arby (sp.))

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sign of expanding horizons…

Day Ten:

(faster ever run over 3.14 miles y/day – just forgot to mention on #9)

back to business at the archive. a new person at the reception desk this morning. whilst printing out my blue slip and getting a locker key for my belongings, three-letter gendered pronoun must have clocked that all my requests for materials are from wallace’s archive, and proceeds to offer me some advice in a very nice ‘you may already know this, but…’ manner. now, what three-letter gendered pronoun tells me about is most interesting – mainly to broaden my scope and take in the connected archives from the likes of wallace’s agent, editor, publishing house(s). and guess what – three-letter gendered pronoun knows three-letter gendered pronoun’s stuff because what i end up concentrating on for the rest of the day is very helpful indeed. letters to and fro his agent and editor, rationales for certain subject matters, characters, plot development, all fascinating, and all stuff that i would probably have missed out on had i not had that chance encounter with said three-letter gendered pronoun. the reason for my using ‘three-letter gendered pronoun’ is that i’m not convinced that woman/girl does this person justice. at what age do you become a woman/girl? and here we are talking about a highly educated person, with excellent inter-personal skills to boot, who is way younger than i. so there’s the quandary – woman sounds offensive, but so does girl. what to do?

no stopping for chai latte until nearer the end of the day – sister collecting me a little earlier as she has a video call to make to a client. bitterly cold outside the ransom. head straight for cvs on guadalupe for emergency bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) – cookie disaster last night is preying on my mind and will not rest until it is resolved (baking powder used as no baking soda in the pantry at my sister’s, and cookies came out the texture of biscotti – devastated). 99c seems like a bargain, so i trot next door to medici for the chai. strike up a conversation with a couple of two-letter gendered pronouns (same issue as before) who work there – serious beard envy going on in my head as I’m talking with them. amazingly serious examples of well looked-after facial hair. am v impressed.

early arrival back home, start on dinner, a yotam ottolenghi recipe for black pepper tofu – delicious. recipe states 5tbsp of coarsely crushed black peppercorns to be added, but I’ve never managed more than 2tbsp – and that burns, what with the 4 hot green peppers in there (recipe calls for 8 – maybe i’m too soft). finish the meal with a kulfi from out of the freezer and then it’s cookie time. dough prepared and rested for 40 minutes in the refrigerator. shaped into walnut sized balls. rolled in cinnamon and sugar. baked for 13 minutes. come out perfect. can rest tonight.

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About the textual silence project...

...reading, thinking, and thinking about reading... ...and then writing... View all posts by the textual silence project...

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