Saturday, November 22, 2014


Rereading correspondence with Mithridates. It occurs to me that I could have posted much more regularly on pp if I had simply copied choice extracts from my emails to my very dear friend M (the correspondence is up to 1000 emails or so). 

Thought of the day. (The day is June 2, 2008.)

I sometimes think about the morbidity rate of particular topics of research. You know when one dreams up a topic one's supposed to make a case that it is underresearched.  Could be there are topics that kill off researchers.  Could be that phalanxes of young graduate students have tackled topics that required them to read Aurora Leigh. Only to get halfway through Aurora Leigh and succumb to horror at the futility of it all.  I can't do this any more, they think, and walk away - leaving the topic underresearched, a temptation to future unsuspecting victims. 

A topic deserving research in its own right, clearly.


Andrew Gelman said...

One reason I started blogging was because it seemed to make more sense to send my thoughts to many people than to one at a time.

Helen DeWitt said...

Yes, that was one of my reasons for starting, but there were things I couldn't discuss publicly, and once a correspondence is going I don't always set aside remarks that could perfectly well be published. (Not that I am making great claims for this one.)