Saturday, May 20, 2006

I should finish

Mardi this week. Carl VanDoren was right to call it the strangest, maddest novel in American literature. It certainly does try to do much more than the sea narrative does. It begins as a sea narrative not unlike Typee, but then turns into a love story, and then when the girl is lost, it turns into a long, drawn-out search. The search is drawn out not by difficulty in finding the object, but rather by a set of philosophical dialogues. VanDoren characterizes it as a string of allegories and I think he's right. I can recognize only a few of the associations, and I would have to go through this work slowly in a segmented fashion to isolate each one and then search carefully for associations in it. I can imagine that working with Mardi has consumed the careers of many literary critics & historians.
Knowing what Mardi is was the objective of this exercise.
I went to the library today to look for some sources for the Antietam project. They have both of the books. One of them is at the central branch, which is in walking distance. The other is too far from here. As for the histories of the poles, I could not find them. I'll go to the school library on Monday.
My machine, the braille-note, has shut down. I can't get it to speak even by plugging in the power cord. I suspect that the battery is no good. So Monday I'll have to talk to the people at the Center for Assisstive Tech about it. I think I let it run until the battery went flat, but having gone flat, it still should have recognized the ac adapter being plugged in. I have tried every kind of reset and it won't come back. So that means something profound has happened with the power supply.

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