On Deadlines, and Morning: Edward Said

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via Asuka Sumi, Baroque Violin

“In early adolescence I was completely in the grip, at once ambiguously pleasant and unpleasant, of time passing as a series of deadlines – an experience that has remained with me every since. The day’s milestones were set relatively early in that period and have not varied. Six thirty (or in cases of great pressure six; I still use the phrase “I’ll get up at six to finish this”) was time to get up; seven-thirty started the meter running, at which point I entered the strict regime of hours and half-hours governed by classes, church, private lessons, homework, piano practice, and sports, until bedtime. This sense of the day divided into periods of appointed labor has never left me, has indeed intensified. Eleven a.m. still imbues me with a guilty awareness that the morning has passed without enough being accomplished and nine p.m. still represents ’lateness’, that movement which connotesOn Deadlines, and Morning: Edward Said “In early adolescence I was completely in the grip, at once ambiguously pleasant and unpleasant, of time passing as a series of deadlines – an experience that has remained with me every since. The day’s milestones were set relatively early in that period and have not varied. Six thirty (or in cases of great pressure six; I still use the phrase “I’ll get up at six to finish this”) was time to get up; seven-thirty started the meter running, at which point I entered the strict regime of hours and half-hours governed by classes, church, private lessons, homework, piano practice, and sports, until bedtime. This sense of the day divided into periods of appointed labor has never left me, has indeed intensified. Eleven a.m. still imbues me with a guilty awareness that the morning has passed without enough being accomplished and nine p.m. still represents ’lateness’, that movement which connotes the end of the day, the hastening need to be thinking about bed, the time beyond which to do work means to do it at the wrong time, fatigue and a sense of having failed all creeping up on one, time slowly getting past its proper period, lateness in fact in all the word’s senses.” Edward Said, Out of Place, a Memoir (2000?) p. 105. Keywords: writer’s routine, Edward Said musicology, Edward Said memoir excerpts, Edward Said as pianist, piano-playing academics, Eliezer Gurarie, early morning milestones, Bach-playing academics, scholars and Bach, Bach in Northern Ireland and Lebanon. the end of the day, the hastening need to be thinking about bed, the time beyond which to do work means to do it at the wrong time, fatigue and a sense of having failed all creeping up on one, time slowly getting past its proper period, lateness in fact in all the word’s senses.” Edward Said, Out of Place, a Memoir (2000), p. 105.

The Author

Lecturer of Chinese history at University of Leeds, and Editor-in-Chief of SinoNK.com.

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