Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CYA citations and memes

I may well have worked the last of my citations into the manuscript this evening. To be perfectly frank, I was motivated to look into a few sources as a CYA maneuver to head off criticism that I never thought about XYZ analytical approaches.  Several pseudology colleagues of mine, who I know are going to read this book when it sees print, are more interested in XYZ than I am, and I live in possibly-maybe-just-a-little-bit unreasonable dread that they will be disappointed with my analysis and pillory me in the book reviews. (One in particular terrifies me, since zi has actually been awfully kind to me so far, and I am quietly aware that I owe hir big time.)

I've already had the realization several times over that I cannot and will not, despite all best efforts, completely thrill everyone, and that it's a bad idea to try.  And yet it's hard to let go of that grad-student-y desire to cite everything that moves!

But I at least feel like looking up these last few sources did me some good. I'm certainly not going to develop a new analysis for the book based on them, but I like the ideas they dropped on me, and I may follow up on them in the future.  And, more to the point, I feel – reasonably or not – like referring to them in a few well-chosen places throughout the manuscript is the equivalent of reinforcing a chink in my armor.  That's probably a really unhelpful way to view this whole process, but since I'm re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy again this summer, that's the first image that comes to mind. (Are you starting to think that I need to read something new?  I'm starting to think that.)

What the hell, if it works, it works.

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