Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Dunciad

On May 18, 1728, “The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. In Three Books.” appeared. It bore the name of no author and contained misleading (that is, false) publication data: “Dublin, printed, London, reprinted for A. Dodd. 1728.” (The 1728 was true.)

Oddly enough, when I decided to post this today, I did not recall that the Dunciad appeared on May 18 (if I ever really knew) and this post is not inspired by the approaching anniversary. I’m getting tired of trying to say intelligent things about what Mark Harris refers to as the ”End Game” in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. I also find that I am spending far too much time reading blogs and especially too much time reading the comments on blogs.

For the past couple of years I have been returning to the topic of my Master’s Essay in English Literature at Columbia University. I began the essay in 1959 when I was a graduate student at Columbia and then left graduate school for twenty years working in the pension business (which did not give me a very good pension.) After I left the pension business to become a high school math teacher, I realized that the fastest way to hit the top salary level in the New York City schools was for me to finish that master’s degree at Columbia, so I returned to the essay and submitted it in April, 1983 and got the degree later that year. The title of the essay is “An Early Draft of The Dunciad” I got the top mark for it and it was suggested that I might wish to contact a journal about publication. Well, the piece is too long for the journal suggested, and I didn’t follow up then. I have recently decided to publish it on my own on the web. I did not pursue an academic career in English literature and I do not want to compete with scholars who are trying to make their own way. But this work is my own and I think it deserves the light of day.

I haven’t yet worked out exactly where I will post it – certainly not on this blog, but I may choose to blog here about my progress.

FWIW, my paper (as it stands) is a work of textual criticism and not of literary criticism.

I know I shall also continue to frequent the same blogs I do now and will continue to comment occasionally and to post here on Episcopal and Anglican topics. But I expect to be devoting a good deal of my attention to The Dunciad.

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

God bless you with that, Allen. Let us know where you publish it.