Unaccustomed to public speaking, Mithridates rashly offers to speak at an academic conference,
Having no idea that conference papers generally require time, effort. Prior excogitation, pen-to-paper, that sort of thing: ideas, in short, Eden-new to our man. Thinking You just go up there. Thinking You just go up there and you talk and then you stop talking and you sit down again, 's all.
discovers his mistake
Well, inaugural conference commences, first round of talks goes by, day before our hero's coming out, and he's bathroom-bound, trying mightily (and failing the same) to prevent achy innards from spilling onto the linoleum.
Thinking Sweet suffering Iesus. I'll be whipped howling from the village by these people. Laugh in my face, berate me for wasting their time.
Craven guts feebly cradled, jellied legs ajitter.
Friends provide any succor?
Hey, M., I say, what's your spiel for domani's powwow?
M. says: I'm talking about eunuch narratives. Hacked and chiselled at the thing for two months. Think it's about ready. Rerererevisions tonight of course. And you too I guess?
He's assured it'll be worth his nickel.
Lord, he whom thou lovest is sick.
and writes a Marksonian post on a) the agony and b) the ecstasy of hearing David Markson talk at the Strand. All here