Tuesday, June 30, 2020


I've just finished - I think - editing and sprucing up a paper of mine into a form where it's ready for scholarly submission.

This one began life several years ago as a conference presentation, and I usually take a lot of shortcuts with those to avoid getting bogged down in documentation when the writing inspiration is high. I tend, for instance, to give bibliographic citations only for references I fear I might have trouble finding again. That often puts me, at this later point, looking up a lot of basic things over and over. And making sure the quotes are right. Occasionally I'll quote from memory, so that has to be corrected. And occasionally I'll remember a reference without being sure where it's from. Just now I had an allusion to what I thought was Book 1, Chapter 2 of The Lord of the Rings, but it turned out to be Book 5, Chapter 9.

Then there needs to be consideration of remarks that are fine before an audience but whose tone needs to be reconsidered before committing them to scholarly print. So there's a lot to do here.

I also needed to salt in reference to an article, published since I gave the paper, which attempts to overturn the chronology of the authorial events discussed. I don't quite believe it, so I stuck the reference in a footnote.

As I often do while final-drafting, I pulled the Works Cited out into a separate file, so I could jump back and forth between them to ensure that everything cited in the text is in the bibliography (amazing how many authors who submit to Tolkien Studies don't do that) and vice versa (ditto), without having to paw up and down through the file. Then I put it back when I'm done.

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