Final papers were slow and thankless last night, and I got distracted by Googling the authors of some of these Nabokov essays to see what had become of them. Christ, was that the wrong thing to do. One gentleman, whose essay was not particularly good (but is much better than what I'm writing) was for a time a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, then went to become an Assistant Professor at some tiny college in Arkansas, then returned to Washington University to "teach English and Film Studies"the lack of a titled position suggests to me that he must have been an adjunct or some other second-class citizenand of his activities in the last couple years Google is completely silent. He doesn't appear on any of the university web pages. I take this to mean that he lost any hope of getting tenure, or indeed of any respectable academic position at all, and out of shame he changed his name or moved to Tajikistan or sank into the mire. All that remains is his mediocre essay on Nabokov, which is better than mine.
The cat, neglected during my absence, now spends the day sitting directly before me, her face lowered to the paper-strewn surface of my desk. What do you desire, cat? Are you a gargoyle? Will you protect me?