Sunday, February 18, 2007

Holding my breath

Finally writing again. My whole problem with finishing this thesis is the transitions. I feel good about my first chapter and the last chapter, but the middle is a big muddle: I'm not sure exactly how to re-form my material so that it transitions my argument from point A to point C, although I can easily write down the argument in brief. I've been telling it to my writing center tutor for the past month. She knows my argument as well as I do; it's just that the details get in the way. ('Well, it's a very complex, sophisticated argument," she says comfortingly. I'm sure what she's saying under her breath is that the best thing to do would be to uncomplexify it a little bit; i just can't bring myself to simplify...) So, as I am working through it I cut and paste and colour my text red and blue and grey. I start working on one transition around 7pm. It turns into a close reading of Lomba's "bowdlerization" of Sappho's ode to Janice. I tie most of the last nine lines of the poems to other lines in Lomba's diary, and use it to make my point about the hidden "political" power of the love poem: the metaphoric prisoner of "love" is used to indicate the presence of the literal prisoner writing behind bars. What I haven't quite figured out yet is how to make the transition to the larger more "external" use of intertextuality that is crucial to my overall argument. I find myself holding my breath as I write. The next time I look at my clock it is 9:30pm.

I take another breath.

1 comment:

Fred said...

As I have no intention whatever (before, now, or ever) to write a literary criticism to the lengths you are now in a University environment, I appreciate the view you're giving me into this "foreign" landscape. Keep it up, I like reading it all even if it makes my head hurt. ;-)