I spent the last few days doing what existentialists who aren’t nihilists (yet) do: persisting in so-called meaningful activities which they know to be meaningless. In other words, I’ve been pursuing my academic pursuits. (Or, oops, I did it again.) In a matter of four or five days, I churned out two abstracts (as in conference presentation proposals) and two full-length papers (as in literature analyses for publication).
As a result of these pointless accomplishments I feel pointless and accomplished. I’m perversely proud of myself for having met the deadlines and completed what I set out to complete. I’m also plagued by a sense of purposelessness now that I’ve done my purposeless task, which was nevertheless successfully distracting me from getting depressed. (Oh, of course, I’m also depressed.)
Doesn’t this post read as though I’ve recently spent a prolonged period of time writing something literary and academic? It does, doesn’t it. Apart from the contractions. (Not contractions as in labour, though labouring is indeed involved, but contractions as in contracted forms—like I’m). Academics don’t contract their papers—because word count. Also, apart from the sentence fragments (← like this one).
The fragmented feel of this post is however deliberate. So is the monotonous style. And the play on words. This is to draw attention to the language. My field of research, literature, reduces to language. My work, by extension, also reduces to language. (Guess what this post reduces to.) I should probably go write something normal for a change. Like a shopping list.
Update: Today’s Daily Post prompt just popped up in my Reader, offering the keyword purpose—which is what I accidentally blogged about above. That illustrates that I’m not only mental, I’m also psychic.