..but apparently, little interest in writing for it. That’s a shame, since it does contain rather a lot of stuff I wanted to write, and keep, sometime in the past. Ah, Oxford, how bad you were for my soul (not that I believe in souls mind you, but it’s more poetic than ‘Oxford, you [the abstract entity best identified as Oxford, representing 3 years of living abroad] were not constructive to my sense of self, my confidence, or emotional stability’).
Let’s stick with the poetic.
At the moment I am picking away at the thesis draft like some slowly healing incision… [no, find another analogy]
Picking away at the thesis draft like a wall in need of repainting. I am relieved to know that my supervisor is actually pleased with the comically overbuilt introduction that is floating around 20,000 words. The thesis outline has, counting that introduction, 9 chapters and should not exceed 100,000 words total, notes included (although how much of a note really counts is hard to determine).
It will need some trimming I suspect.
Chapter 1 and 2, once a single entity, should be on his ethereal desk in a week. After that, who knows but if I want to finish this at all it has to be soon. Oxford will not let a DPhil linger beyond 4 years, so it’s this spring or never.
In other news, a paper I started writing as a conference presentation in late 2012, later accepted as a contribution to a collection of essays in 2013, is now in print (as of November 2015). That’s nice.
A second paper of similar origins, presented that same year is now in the proof stage of its volume. That final draft was cleaned up the week before the surgery. Re-reading it now I am surprised that I don’t hate it. I also don’t entirely recognise it but that’s less surprising really.
Sadly, this has not warmed up my fingers for more thesis writing but this is the stage where it has to be a forced, mechanical process if there is no other inspiration. I do, on occasion, have amusing problems such as where, and how, I will manage to work in this quote from Thomas De Quincey:
‘But in the murderer, such a murderer as a poet will condescend to, there must be raging some great storm of passion,–jealousy, ambition, vengeance, hatred,–which will create a hell within him; and into this hell we are to look.’
Thomas De Quincey, ‘On The Knocking At The Gate, In Macbeth’, The London Magazine, (1823)
But really, these are problems I make myself. They keep things interesting.