5: word hangover

I often suffer from word hangovers. They are what they sound: physical symptoms nearly identical to alcohol hangovers, except the result of reading too much too quickly. Today I’ve got a wicked one, a classic one, as the result of yesterday. I did almost nothing but read yesterday from the time I woke up — nine AM — to the time I went to bed — five AM. On the platter: Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy; four chapters of an art history textbook on the nude; most of Nawal el Saadawi’s Memoirs from the Women’s Prison; some literary criticism on el Saadawi; Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well; two hundred more pages of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (slow going because I keep having to stop to ponder whether I like or hate it); a surly breeze through half of Beyond Black, a sort of annoying recent ghost novel; three Cynthia Ozick essays as appetizers; poetry for punctuation.

It seems like very little to have gotten through for such a crazily extended stretch of reading. Blame Nietzsche: the damned book took me longer than all of the others. I do not have much a head for philosophy — which is why, really, I read it so often and so stubbornly (though I’m not awesome enough right now to read Nietzsche for my own personal gain — this was for a class).

All those words! I’ve got none left of my own. “Hungover” is the term for it. Either that or “fallout.”


~ by Not Alice on November 5, 2007.

One Response to “5: word hangover”

  1. I have experienced a similar effect when I’ve read or studied too much. I hate that! It’s just like drinking, too. Good while you’re doing it but you sort of regret it later! ;)

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