Now in Seattle, at University of Washington. Slowly getting the infrastructure of life and work established, but dealing badly with West-coast jetlag. To be honest part of me is glad to be out of the UK as the comprehensive spending review axe is wielded and British universities adapt to the new dark ages of neoliberal dogma and cultural ignorance.
First job was to read chapter one of ‘The Birth of Territory’ and see what needed doing. It’s the chapter on ancient Greece entitled ‘The Polis and the Khora‘. The good news is that the basic shape of the argument seems sound, and most of the particulars don’t need a lot of work. The less good news is that some of the references are missing details like page extents for chapters and articles, so some hunting to resolve them; some verbal ticks I think I’ve now eradicated from my writing are there (the draft dates from 2001); and there are some semi-cryptic ‘notes for work’ that I now need to decipher. Fortunately even back then I was doing the source references and language checking properly. There is some work to be done on updating references to secondary literature that has appeared in the last decade. I also need to decide whether I have the space or inclination to work in more detailed discussions of some authors who are currently relatively neglected – Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Aeschylus and Strabo being the key ones. There are references to all of these writers already, and any primary text reading will be rereading, but something to think about.
The libraries here are good (though noisy), and I’ve already made a little progress. Aside from minor detail checking, yesterday’s rereading was Oedipus at Colonus with the thought of perhaps developing the Antigone section to discuss this in more detail. But aside from including the line ‘will they even shroud my body in Theban soil?’ I’ve decided to leave it as it was. To be honest, Lowell Edmunds, Theatrical Space and Historical Place in Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus does whatever could be said there. I think today I will begin with the Oresteia and take it from there.