About this site
UPDATE 10/24/13: For the moment, CommentPress seems to be broken, so I’ve reverted temporarily to a basic theme.
In 2004, I finished and submitted my dissertation in English Language and Literature at the University of Virginia in the usual way: in print. I tried for several years thereafter to find a publisher for my dissertation, but was unable to. I’ve had my dissertation on my personal website in PDF form for all those years, but I’m well aware that it’s not very visible to search engines or to human beings in that form. I’ve therefore created a free-standing website for my dissertation, partly just to try out CommentPress, partly to make the work I did more easily findable and readable, and partly to facilitate comments on the work.
Technical notes: I did a good bit of hacking to the CommentPress theme and plugin to get things (especially the footnotes) looking the way I wanted them to. In the course of this hacking, I found it convenient to disable what most think is the key feature of CommentPress: the paragraph-level commenting. This was only semi-deliberate — I’m not at all opposed to paragraph-level comments, but once I broke them with my hacking, it was easier to remove them than to get them working again. I still think CommentPress is unique in its ability to make a website look like a book, and so personally, I’m happy with it even in this altered state. If you’d care to comment, please do so here. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer. CommentPress’s developer, Chrstian Wach, was simply enormously generous with his time: my heartfelt thanks to him. All annoying peculiarities of CommentPress on this site are surely due to my tinkering and not to his vision and skill.
Scholarly notes: a new edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics is forthcoming in 2012; Julie Kane and I contributed a dramatically revised entry on the villanelle as well as articles on other poetic forms. I also keep an eye on the Wikipedia page on the villanelle to make sure that the information there is accurate — certainly, Wikipedia is in this case (and probably many others) more accurate than almost all older, more traditionally authoritative texts.
I’ve resisted the strong desire to revise (especially the last chapter, which I always wanted to expand) and have given in to the even stronger desire not to revise. Here, then, in a new medium, is the work just as I submitted it six years ago.