A reader from Portugal recently contacted me to ask me about my book about Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment. It's been a while since I mentioned my current projects, and so I thought that I should take a few minutes to post an update.
The good news is that I've been working on the DoE book, but the bad news is that I've decided to put the project on hold for at least two years. Why? Well, I'm also working on another book, a new translation of Richard Wagner's Oper und Drama. I had hoped to write the DoE book while I translated the first part of the Wagner book. Unfortunately, the Wagner book has proved to be more difficult than I had thought it would be, and I had expected it to be extremely difficult to translate.
Wagner's German prose is very difficult to read, even for native speakers of German, and so it's even more difficult to translate into another language. It takes me a long time, usually six or seven hours, to translate a single page. I'm translating Wagner into modern, readable English, and so that makes my task that much more difficult. I could easily translate his prose into tangled, awkward English, but there's no point in doing that. I have to go slowly as I struggle to turn his German into readable English. So, in short, I'm making progress, but only at a brutally slow pace.
I decided to make significant progress on the Wagner book in order not to feel overwhelmed by the demands of the project. I could work on both of my books, but only very slowly. It seems to me that it's better to make steady progress on a single book rather than slow progress on two books. Working on two books, neither of which would be finished in the next couple of years, would just sit too heavily on my mind. So I decided to finish the Wagner book first. Then I can concentrate on the DoE book. That way, I won't feel weighed down by two difficult projects.
Naturally, I wish that I could work on both books simultaneously, but, unfortunately, I had to make a choice. The Wagner book is more important, and will do more for me financially, so I chose it over the DoE book. But I'm fully committed to writing the DoE book. It's just that it will take a little longer than I had hoped.
I'll keep posting progress reports on both of my book projects as they continue to develop.