Friday, February 04, 2005



As if to prove my claim earlier this week that I could win a "bad blogger" contest hands-down, I have not posted since making that claim. But I have been productively busy this week: a new class and a new chapter begun. I will be leisurely busy (I checked, and "leisurely" really is an adverb) this weekend: a quick trip back home.

Before I go, an announcement and a couple of clippings from the week. Thanks to the kind invitation of Ralph Luker and his blogging colleagues, I have joined the group blog Cliopatria. I'm honored and excited by this unearned "cliopatrimony," which makes it more regrettable that I have not been able to do much blogging this week. I'll continue to blog here at Mode for Caleb, but will cross-post and post at Cliopatria on subjects that might be of interest to the blogging historian or historian blogger. Speaking of which, it looks like there is much of interest at Cliopatria in the second History Carnival.

* * *

"What most people don't realize about writer's block is that it's not a dearth of words or ideas that plagues the author, but a multitude. The paralysis of writing is the paralysis of choice.

There is a blank page. There are an infinite number of stories one could tell. Even the brave act of marring the potential of that sheet with a sentence (and how to chose, when for all practical purposes there are an infinite number of sentences to pick from?) does nothing to limit the direction the writer might take. Human beings can be crippled by only a dozen or so choices. How does one even conceive of the infinite?

The fact that anything gets written at all is a miracle."

-- Siona at Nomen est Numen

* * *

"Freedom to take one's own chances amid the example of exceptionally skilled and humane practitioners of one's craft is the sum total of good graduate education ..."

-- Daniel Rodgers, in acknowledgements

Collective Improvisation:

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