The Brutal Reality of Affect

I’ll set the scene.

I am in the library. I have just wandered around and wrangled a great stack of books that I will be using to write the next section of conference paper that I am working on. I get them all. I sit down. I talk to my partner on gchat. I plug my iPod into my netbook, I put in my headphones, I listen to an old album by The Decemberists.

I open Feminism and Affect at the Scene or Argument. I read through it for a while; it will be useful to me. Barbara Tomlinson writes well, and she makes a clear argument. I am pleased.

I move on to the next book. I open The Transmission of Affect. I get to this:

Teresa Brennan was in the final stages of editing The Transmission of Affect in December 2002. On the night of December 9, she went out on an errand and was crossing the street when she was hit by an automobile. She never regained conciousness and died early in the morning of February 3, 2003. Dr. Brennan had been working on the finishing touches of her favorite chapter and reviewing the copyedited version of the manuscript on the night of her accident. The remaining review was completed by her long-time assistant and literary executrix, Woden Teachout, and her trusted researcher, Sandy Hart.

And I feel an upwelling, that weird feeling of tears behind eyes. A tremor up my back.

Colin Meloy sings, and there’s hope, but it’s all down there bubbling and Teresa Brennan is back there, living behind my eyes.

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