Navel gazing, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is the intense process of self-satisfied self-examination that is the most favored activity of the confirmed narcissist. Blogging, by its nature, partakes somewhat of navel gazing. This post conforms rather more closely to that description than most. My apologies.
For much of this day, I have been engaged in an unsuccessful search for my copy of Charles Mills' unpublished essay on Tolkein's Lord of the Rings. My problem is that when I moved from a big house to a small condominium four and a half years ago, I had to give up several large file cabinets and other storage facilties. Things got crammed into boxes out of order. Now, I am very much of a pack rat. I rarely throw things out, and I would never throw out Mills' essay, which I love. But I have picked through every box, file cabinet, and stack of manila folders in my small office and I simply cannot find it.
Along the way, as I was looking, I kept coming upon unpublished essays, lectures I have given, reviews, and the like, most of which I have no recollection of having written. Earlier today, I mentioned one such paper, delivered more than thirty years to a meeting of the American Philosophical Association, which I shall try to scan and post. A few moments ago, while watching Mrs. Doubtfire on television, I suddenly had a thought, and went searching through some files I had moved to a storage box to make room for materials related to my new gig at Bennett College.
I did not find the Mills essay, but I did stumble on an unpublished 175 page manuscript of something called The Language of Economics: A Course of Lectures, which I apparently wrote in 1979. Paging through it, I found that it is the first part of a long book which I eventually decided to break up into a trilogy, two thirds of which were actually published [Moneybags Must Be S Lucky and Understanding Marx.] There seems to be a good deal of material in this manuscript that never made it into those two books, and since I never completed the trilogy, it has been lying there in a manila folder for thirty-three years.
I think of myself as someone who does not work very hard. in my long life, I have watched endless mvies, played thousands upon thousands of games of various solitaires on my computer, daydreamed for hours on end, and on occasion, spent some time teaching and writing. And yet the contents of my file drawers and shelves suggests that I must have spent a very considerable amount of time writing, and even reading, which latter I imagine I do very rarely.
It is really very odd.