Monday, July 12, 2010

Clear the Decks

Time to mentally clear the decks for two book projects, each due in about 90 days. The bulk of the research is done--the results of hundreds of research articles and dozens of books read in the last year, ten years of teaching and 15 years of postgraduate research and education all combining and recombining and making both old and new associations in my mind--and now the task is composing the sentences, paragraphs, pages, and chapters. I have detailed outlines and hundreds of references; now for the tone.

"Life is a constant matter of experimental centrifugal pressure outward against its environment. During the course of my life I have encountered a squirrel on a subway platform, pigeons on my book cases, and a flying squirrel who had set up housekeeping in the drawer of a kitchen cabinet. Their acts were totally exploratory."

--Loren Eisley, "Man and Novelty" p.76 in "Time and Stratigraphy in the Evolution of Man", 1967, Publication 1469 of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

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