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It astonishes me how frequently I say to myself, I’m going to write an article about x, and then realize that in order to make the argument about x that I really want to make, I must set up a whole series of background issues, such that on or about page 17 I look up and realize that now, finally, I’m about to turn to x. I can’t decide whether this means that I’m setting up my arguments badly or that I’m constantly writing the scholarly version of a novella.

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