Monday, April 28, 2008

The Meaning of (Academic) Life

Today is one of those rare days when I will admit to restlessness about life within the walls of academia. (This admission is coming from somebody who refused to apply for a position in industry or any other non-academic employment sector for that matter.) A generous dose of humor is desperately needed to get over this atypical personal crisis.

So perhaps it is time to transfer more books from the library to the ever-growing pile next to my bed: Roger Rosenblatt, author of the academic satire, Beet, went as far back as the 1950s and came up with a list of five best satires of academic life. However, all five books are populated by characters affiliated with the English departments.

I can understand the humanities taking on more than their fair share of book-producing responsibilities but I am puzzled by their over-representation inside the pages of books dealing with angst-ridden existence. Note to aspiring writers: Folks in health sciences too are desperate for comical assessments of their lives. They are literate and are willing to pay good money to laugh at themselves. Any takers?

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