I'm writing this entry from a borrowed computer, my hard drive having died yesterday. Fortunately, a good friend of mine helped me extract the current chapter of my dissertation from the burnt-out hunk of metal before it went completely kaput. I'd saved it as a PDF file, fortunately, so I was able to access it on an old PC I had lying around and, while the fonts and spacing did get a bit messed up in the transfer, I was able to do a relatively quick transfer and now have a presentable Word document with which to work from a living computer terminal. While it looks like the vast majority of my files will have been destroyed, I have been able to locate a pretty good percentage of my key documents in various backup arrangements, so I am not as miserable as I might otherwise be. True, I did lose some recent photographs and probably a handful of word processing documents, but having found ways to access all my Disgrace notes, a relatively recent copy of my bibliography (which I have since revised, updated, and reformatted), and the aforementioned chapter-in-progress has mitigated what could easily have been a really, really bad predicament. Furthermore, in my scouring of email, old disks, and even older computers, I have found most of my notes on Elizabeth Costello, too. Not to mention countless other memories in the form of photographs, scans, and the like.
All I can say now is that I really want to finish this damn thing. I had intended to get some writing done this weekend and I would still like to do that, though the eight or more hours I spent fixing fonts and replacing footnotes and looking up bibliographic references has wiped me out for the rest of today, I reckon.
For tomorrow: Read, write, prep...just do something to get closer to the end of this behemoth.