You Know You’re a Postdoc When …

Joshua Campbell compiled three fiddle books, right? And Urbani and Liston reprinted at least one.

A modern indexer said that Joshua Campbell compiled four books, counting the shorter Urbani and Liston edition as another book.  But the CONTENTS that he gives for this last publication don’t match either the first OR the second editions that Campbell himself produced.  And the dates this latest indexer gives for each volume don’t absolutely coincide with J. Murdoch Henderson’s scholarly estimations, which were done a few decades ago.

Worse still, the even earlier scholar John Glen gave markedly different dates for the first two distinct collections that Campbell produced, than the Murdoch Henderson dates that I had accepted as gospel.  Glen cited advertising.  Murdoch Henderson, more recently, didn’t mention either the advertising or Glen. Hmmm.

I know I’m a postdoc because I can’t bear all these uncertainties a minute longer: I shall be spending my Saturday morning going through to the National Library of Scotland to examine one particular volume, very closely.  I may not get anywhere with the dates – I doubt it very much – but at least I’ll know what the contents are! Truth to tell, I like bibliographical puzzles.  If I was forced to choose, I’d probably have to admit that I love paratext and its cultural implications even more than I like bibliographical puzzles, but it’s a close-run thing.

My reward after all this will be to go and hear my very dear friend (another Karen) play clarsach in Blackwell’s afterwards.  Clarsach, Blackwells and perhaps a cuppa is strong motivation to work hard in the morning!


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