There have been some new things in October, of course, although I spent a lot of time in my characteristic meditations that apparently lead to nothing, and in fact lead to everything. I took a critical distance in relation to my project, redesigned my coordinates, thought about alternatives.
Among concrete results of the month, I count a book review submitted to Arabica (Todd Lawson's Tafsir as Mystical Experience), which does not look like much, but it required a jump across a symbolic obstacle (a Brill-edited journal, etc; I'm still very fragile when it comes to those affairs of academic prestige).
For the rest of the time, I studied Anselmo Turmeda, a 14th-c. Majorcan convert who became caid Abdallah al-Tarjuman in the service of the bey of Tunis. The figure exemplifies the Christian / Muslim frontier, its resistance and permeability. Having the concept of the border in mind, I also read Thomas Nail's Theory of the Border, a work aspiring to transhistorical relevance, yet of little use, I think, in my specific domain. It is a bit shallow. But as I go in depth, I tend to qualify an increasing number of other people's books as shallow. Which of cause needs to stop somewhere.