Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bloody brilliant

2:26 am

I love this. I love what I do. I love writing, and being so excited about what I'm talking about that that fluttery-buzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach that tells me I'm working on adrenaline and the sugar high from the last fourth of the (now empty) chocolate chip bag, that my body is suffering from severe sleep deficit disorder, doesn't matter. I love reading brilliant articles all day by brilliant professors whose deconstructive readings are practical and activist and not merely deconstructive for the sake of being deconstructive. There's a purpose in it--putting it all back together into a new form--ambiguity allowing for new depths.

I've spent all day summarizing other people's research, stringing together quotes to provide a background for my close reading. 8 (single spaced) pages of background for 6 (single spaced) pages of analysis. It's utterly ridiculous, and I probably will have to chop it all up tomorrow despite my desire to finish this seminar paper tonight so I can move on to my thesis again tomorrow. But, what a glorious feeling to finally cycle back round to the close reading I did yesterday and to say, hey this is pretty bloody brilliant (at least the first paragraph or so of it).

It's rough. It's ridiculously too long, and is probably more of a literature review that should go in a thesis introduction rather than a paper. It's a deeply flawed piece of work slapped together by a sleep deprived graduate student who hasn't even finished her MA yet (after 3 bloody [excuse my "bloody" kick--it's my 2am favourite word--I'll resist throwing in other words which my mother would be disappointed to hear me saying, even in the midst of great late night euphoria] years of department required coursework.) But I love it. I love what I'm learning. I love what I'm writing. I love how everything comes together--my thesis on Helon Habila, with my interest in Hausa novels and films, with my long love of Shakespeare/Chaucer/ brilliant dead white guys who were doing something new in their own time too (they weren't always the enthroned and canonized classics that other people have to struggle against), with my own attempts at creativity, with my fascination about the ambiguities between reality and fiction, with my own faith and love of Christ and the Holy Trinity--the way multiple stories deconstruct monolithic meanings--and multiple voices continually burst out into song and dance and joyous celebration of life and love and the universe and everything. Why did I suddenly think of Monty Python?

A friend contemplating a PhD asked me why one does it. what is the motiviation in starting a programme that will drink up 10 years worth of sleep, finish your youth, make you weep with rage at times, and guarentee no job at the end?

And it's these moments, I need to write him, these moments are the reason. The sleep deprived half-mad stupid grins of 2:30am. The moments when you have to get up and dance for a while--just because you're so narcissistically exhilerated by your own words, which you know all along won't seem half so brilliant when you wake up in the morning. No amount of cynicism can destroy these moments.

Oh, God, let me someday publish something as brilliant and satisfying to read as Ousseina Alidou, Abdalla Adamu, Brian Larkin.

Oh, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

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