Well, it would seem that I have become nocturnal. The problem is that I don't really want to stay up all night. Whereas a few weeks ago, I would routinely fall asleep by one or two in the morning, I now find myself struggling to fall asleep by six or seven. It's ridiculous.
Of course, it is my fault. Since I haven't much of a schedule at the moment, I don't have to wake up by any particular time. So I sleep in. A lot. Not surprisingly, if I sleep until one in the afternoon, it's hard to fall asleep before, say, three or four in the morning. I also know that I should probably not be drinking caffeine at two a. m., even if it is part of a beverage that tastes really, really good.
Plus, I nap too much. Part of the problem there is that I read in bed. If I left the house, say, and plopped myself down in an nice air-conditioned place, I might get more done, but I don't feel comfortable spending money on gas and other expenses, so I stay home...and read in bed...and fall asleep...and stay up all night...and sleep until the next afternoon...
But, whatever. I will be working again soon (thankfully), so I will consider days like today a luxury. And the money I save by not driving around, perhaps, could go towards decaffeinated drinks. Practical, innit?
All lamenting aside, I have finished several audiobooks just by laying in bed when I can't fall asleep at night. And that's good, right?
At any rate, despite sleeping in far too late this afternoon, I did manage to get myself working, rereading Sue Kossew's short essay "The Politics of Shame and Redemption in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace." Like many of the studies of Coetzee's 1999 novel, Kossew's paper deals with David Lurie's growth as a person, from a self-centered academic rake at the beginning of the novel to a self-effacing and empathetic "dog-man" by the book's conclusion. Along the way, Kossew discusses Coetzee's use of the body as a locus for the dramatization of power struggles, the Dostoevskian complexities of the confessional mode, and the implications of Lucy Lurie's acquiescent behavior in the wake of a brutal sexual assault. Ultimately, though, Kossew focuses on the meanings signified by the concepts of grace and disgrace during a period of turbulent change, concluding that Disgrace shows us that it is "not through any grand revelation or absolution, but through attending to the everyday" that one can attain some semblance of grace (161).
Kossew, Sue. "The Politics of Shame and redemption in J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace." Research in African Literatures 34.2 (2003): 155-162.
For tomorrow: It's a busy day, so either read another essay or work on my bibliography.