I came home yesterday evening, fell asleep on the couch and was cruelly awakened by Roger H. Brown’s The Republic in Peril: 1812. It’s a brand new copy, and it treacherously stabbed me in the tummy with one of its as yet stiff and unbent outer corners. I was tempted to vent my wrath by removing it from its nest under the big stripy cushion and exiling it to the chilly outer darkness of the coffee table. But since it’s a library book at a Certified Party School, I have concluded that what it will experience over the next five or ten years of its career is probably punishment enough: grim solitude, punctuated by unpredictable bouts of highlighting and being thrown up on. (I guess we’ve all had a job like that, though, right?)
So, The Republic in Peril: 1812 remains comfortably on the couch. Perhaps someday I will read the rest of it.
I have not been doing much in the way of reading this week, other than parts of the index to the Oxford paperback version of Orlando Furioso. Partly this is because whatever bug I picked up in New York is still with me – fingers crossed I’ll be able to talk again in time for class tomorrow! because I sure can’t right now! – and partly because it’s academic hiring season, which means I have been going to a lot of job talks and meetings and receptions and dinners.
I have, though, been listening to a CD (literally a CD: my computer was in the kitchen and I was too lazy to retrieve it, so I put the actual CD in that slot on the stereo and pressed play) of some of Dvořák’s chamber music for strings. After the unbroken stretch of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Schubert I have been in lately in terms of chamber music, some variety is nice. It’s one of those Decca compilations of several different recordings made back in the 60s, so I have been treated to the Wiener Oktett, the Janaček Quartet and one or two others. Rather pleasant when one is mildly hopped-up on Robitussin.*
This is no doubt a sign of a fever or something, but does it not seem that “Robitussin” could become sort of obscure late-Romantic Russian composer?