PBS was silent for a few days while Z and I visited some of my dispersed family before my trip overseas. Although I plan to write regularly each day until the actual move, most of that writing will stay in draft form. Writing needs to be a habit if any progress is expected but posting blog entries isn’t an essential step in the process.
I did get some nice books this week, so I will pick the easy route and write about that.
I think, if I had spent a little longer thinking about the consequences, I would have seen all of this coming and I would have avoided it. I made the mistake of writing in haste, and with a level of casual criticism that is beneath me. But, like I told the offended authors, I wrote only because I actually care about their work. If I didn’t I would have ignored them from the start. I think I have patched things up, but I did get my name dragged through some mud and that was unexpected, even if I started it. I am aware that there is a deep vein of conflict in the non-academic community of historical martial arts. I did not know its full depths or how nasty they can be to each other. That was turned on me this weekend and it was not pleasant. There were entirely valid counterpoints to my review, counters to criticism I levelled without sufficient support. I’m not used to counters written with that level of invective (although I admit an admiration for their rhetorical flair. I did call them careless with sources, I didn’t and won’t call them poor writers).
I wrote a trial essay on Tuesday and I am transcribing it at the moment. Posting it on the blog will be a massive act of personal bravery as re-reading this is painful to me. I remind myself that this is the entire point of the exercise and that this test format is not my strong suit. Only practice, and tedious self-analysis, will make perfect.
In the meantime, enjoy — or tolerate — two short book reviews!
Because I am in a sort of perverse ‘gap-year’ between the Masters and PhD, reading relevant academic work requires deliberate effort. Coursework and set writing deadlines force this reading on the active student but without that structure it is just too easy to slack off. Continue reading →