I celebrated Labour Day by labouring on my research paper, which I hope to publish in an obscure academic journal. The deadline for submissions was 1 May, and I started writing on 30 April, deploying the classic tactics of motivation through pressure.
My paper turned out somewhat differently than what I promised in the pre-approved abstract. In fact, I disproved what my abstract implied that I would prove. Since we live in the age of (post)-postmodernism, it is to be expected that writers-authors will contradict themselves—which probably does not apply to writers-researchers, but I may just as well start working on introducing this approach.
My paper was characteristically postmodern also in that it concluded rather abruptly, without concluding anything, at the point when I reached the required word count. As I mentioned though, I’m hoping to publish in an obscure journal (also, I exaggerate for humorous effect). I did as well as I could, considering that not only am I not getting paid for my effort but I am actually paying to be published (administrative costs, they call it). Welcome to academia.
The consolation prize is that I do what I want. I write papers that nobody reads about books that nobody reads. This sounds depressing but it’s quite enjoyable. It’s much more pleasant than being at school and being forced to learn by heart romantic poetry for the May Day. Such as possibly the most horrible creation of this genre, Karel Hynek Macha’s notorious “May” poem (the first few stanzas I can still recite by heart—and cringe while doing so).