Apology (the defensive kind).

My Dearest Archive,

I don’t know what you mean by this: writing me a letter demanding an explanation of my doings of the last few weeks. I am the last person to condone a lifestyle of reckless abandonment. Were I to disappear for weeks, or even days at a time without offering any hint of my whereabouts, I would hardly condemn your o’erwatchfulness: indeed, I would expect it and, though I might outwardly curse your interrogations, I know that in the rational part of my soul, I would be grateful for such loving interference.

Such a situation as described above cannot, I think, be fairly applied to my behaviour of the last month or so. True, I have been absent from you, but I never departed without leaving some brief description of the ‘why and wherefore’ of my leave-takings. As to your charge that “whilst gone, I had no news of your doings, nor thoughts, nor welfare, which (I imagined) was of the most hapless condition,” I must defend myself by reminding you that I have written at least once a fortnight (and often with more regularity).

I must, however, have space and time to work, and you, my dear, must not stifle my productivity with your patriarchal watchfulness. Yet let us not quarrel, my archive. As a conciliatory gesture, I offer you some inclination of my activities of the past weeks.

First, I must observe that, even with a light shower around tea time today, it is the first fine day in weeks, and thus among the first opportunities I have had of communicating with you: frightfully dangerous storms being hardly conducive to the act of composition (and even were I to manage the task, I suspect the effects of foul weather during delivery would have made reading illegible.)

The weather has not prevented me, however, from meeting with Lord and Lady C—-, who assure me that my work on the late Frederick Jameson holds potential: they have lent me some works of his, and I shall be revising my paper for submission to the Royal Society (I hear, however, they are difficult group with which to communicate. No matter, if they will not have me, I shall try for publication in the Canadas.)

In further regards to my education, I have registered for classes at the beginning of last month, and am anticipating their beginnings in another four weeks. (I shall write of them in greater detail later, but can reveal that I will be further studying the poets of the English Renaissance, as well as American and Parisian literature of the nineteenth century.) I am also hoping for employment in my departments come the beginning of term.

Aside from these activities, there is not much news to share. I have been attending the cinema and the symphony occasionally, reading some, and of course, continuing my revisions concerning the work of the Renaissance dramatist and poet, Benjamin Jonson. I shall send you a copy when I am done, and invite you to the defense in late August.

I hope this satisfies your curiosity concerning my whereabouts. I shall write again soon, though, if I do not, please attribute it to general busyness, coupled with the lethargy of the summer months, and not to any carelessness on my part. I shall attend to you with more regularity during the autumn term: in the meanwhile, I charge you “have patience, and do not suspect my affexions!”

Respectfully yours,

The English Undergraduate.

(Post scriptum. Enclosed is a photograph of the great Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose Scheherezade we heard last week: what a stunning beard!)

1 August 2008 ~ St. Catharines


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