Friday, July 22, 2005

The death of research

Bookslut guided me to this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which reminded me of one nerdish delight in college: stack browsing as a form of research. The writer describes the exact same experience I had as an English major jumping from aisle to aisle, gathering ideas from past literary analysts. It was nice; I felt like I was making progress in my research in a way that electronic databases could not provide. While I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore -- legal research has some benefits, but is far more dry -- it hurts a little to know that future college students may be denied that non-sexual pleasure in the library stacks.

Academically yours, it's 55 Fiction Friday.

The self-anointed screenwriter gazed lovingly at his magnum opus, a depiction of former maintenance workers at an Ivy League school in the 1940s who had demanded (and received!) compensation for loss of limb. Set to song.

In other words, he wrote a socioeconomic musical about disability benefits in a historical university setting. He was screwed.


bdure said...

I worked in the deepest stacks of the library when I was in college. Occasionally, during a reshelving project, I'd get bonked in the head by a book some grad student had hidden away. That's the cutthroat world of grad school for you -- if you want to keep that tome on 18th century agrarian improvements to yourself, hide it in the Russian newspapers section.

The in-stacks defecation, though, was worse. I'm not sure if they couldn't wait until they'd emerged to find a bathroom or were simply lost.

Courtney said...

In-stacks defecation? Holy crap!

Neel Mehta said...

Only in the divinity section, Courtney.