It ended up being pretty painless to work through that little list of things to do. I did everything but the article revision on Thursday, and then spent the day yesterday on that, having received the peer review right after I asked for it. I focused on the reviewer comments concerning lack of precision in my terminology (transnational/globalization, assimilation/integration, what I mean by things like parody, irony, identity, etc.). There were also suggestions for adding discussions of other things (comparisons to specific American films, Derrida on hospitality and gift-giving); I could see the potential relevance for these, but at the same time I couldn’t really see how they would actually make the argument I was trying to make more convincing. They would have turned it into a different argument–not worse, but tangential to what I was interested in examining. I did the usual thing of writing to the editor to explain what I did and didn’t do in my revision (and why I didn’t do it), and she accepted my rationale very graciously.
Revising is always such a tricky process–I would totally have been willing to make the changes if she insisted, but this far along in my career I also have a pretty decent intuitive sense of when a suggestion (however good it is) will make for different but not necessarily better.
I also read through a draft of a colleague’s book chapter and took a quick look at the conference paper that I’ll be giving later this month. I had written it quite a while ago with the idea that I’d return to it again when it got a little closer to the conference. It seems basically pretty okay, though there is one section that I really want to change. Since finishing the Næss/Dahl article, I feel like I have a much better framework for describing what’s going on in De fire store than I did before.
Alongside this little flurry of activity I got some really dreadful news; I finally worked up the nerve to call the publisher where my Peer Gynt book manuscript has supposedly been under review since May 2012. I called and asked for my acquisitions editor and was told that the person hasn’t worked there since December! I was not surprised (I’ve been burned before), but exceedingly disappointed to hear that. The person who answered the phone was gracious and promised to forward my information on to the right person and get me some kind of answer. But that’s a small consolation compared with knowing that my manuscript has basically just been forgotten since at least September, which was the last time I had contact with the acquisitions editor. At least the last time I got the run-around, the acquisitions editor who was leaving had the courtesy to pass on my project to the person’s replacement (who then ignored me for months and then axed the project without warning or reason). Sigh.
But what I really need to be thinking about is how to get my head back into the Multimodal book project.
ETA: This book arrived in the mail yesterday–yay!