The trouble with bibliographies

Not the kind that you put at the end of papers, no. The kind that you have to come up with out of your (beep) to support a grant application.

No, I don’t know which books will be useful to me yet. No, I haven’t read everything in my old field of study, let alone in one I JUST BARELY chose to follow. Even though my proposal sounds awesome and all, I really have no idea what I’m talking about… well I know a little, but not as much as I pretend I do. The art of bullshitting, they say, is necessary to any successful academic career.

Yet, I have up to 5 pages to put a list of books that are supposedly necessary for my research. I don’t really know what they are. I’m just skimming in those few books I HAVE read (or the bits of them) or that I know about, and copy any book whose title seems remotely relevant to my topic.

After two hours of doing that yesterday, I was upset that my carrel is in the basement of the library; I would gladly have thrown myself out the window had it been higher.

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