It seems I'm always trying to catch up with something. Today and yesterday (and the day before and several days ((nights)) to come, it's The Times Literary Supplement. If ever there was an instrument to make me feel humble - not humble - abject, it's the TLS. Weekly!
I started two nights ago to go through a pile of back issues. I've already read/skimmed them, marking pieces to read or save or think about. Now I have a pile of clippings that I have to do something more with: order books I want to read; send articles to people and also keep some for myself either to re-read and toss or to file or to tuck (reviews) into books I have bought on a TLS recommendation. Fortunately, the baseball season has begun and this is an ideal activity for multi-tasking.
But I'm still humble. Very. All those reviewers and writers know so much. I tend to forget that each one is an expert (or almost) in his/her field and cower in awe. I'll never be a polymath, but perhaps they won't be, either. I do think it is very difficult to be a polymath in the world of the 21st century. ([ think of that nice (old) song: "I know a little bit about a lot of things/But I don't know enough about you." If you're old enough the melody will be in your memory bank.] Ah well. I know a little bit but I don't know Arabic, or Russian, or Mandarin, for that matter. My Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse are very little use to me. Or Middle English.
I think I am the only female expert extant on pataphysics, but no one cares. I wrote an essay about it that was published in the first Dropped Threads collection, minus eight pages that the editor cut because she didn't understand what I was writing about - ironic because the book was an anthology of pieces by women that no one had ever allowed them to publish before. Ah well.
Every day in every way I'm getting more and more obscure, still grateful after all these years for the TLS. Maybe I should write about pataphysics for it - them?