Sobriquet 40.4

Well, I finished the transcription and the reading I set out for myself today. Obviously, I have a considerable amount of reading left to do, but having finally finished the transcription work, I have to accept that I am close to resuming the writing process. I do tend to find the actual writing of the dissertation somewhat nerve-wracking, so the closer I get to picking up the proverbial pen, the more stressful my days become. I mean, damn, writing the dissertation, actually synthesizing the ideas of others and presenting one's own makes the whole thing feel real.

Since I have re-thought the shape and direction of my dissertation after speaking with my supervisor last month, I have decided to revisit the criticism on The Master of Petersburg. When I first read the novel and the criticism it inspired earlier this winter, I had assumed the section I would be devoting to the text would be perhaps five pages long. Consequently, my focus when familiarizing myself with the critical discussion of the novel was not nearly exhaustive enough for someone preparing to write a considerably longer section on The Master of Petersburg. Fortunately, having read the criticism prior to rereading the novel, I found second read-though yielded quite a few new insights. Given the nagging sense that my limited focus may have led me to miss some of the more valuable discourse surrounding The Master of Petersburg, I have decided to reread the criticism on the novel--which, happily, is not nearly as voluminous as that centered on some of Coetzee's other books--as a final step in the pre-pre-writing phase. I hope to read an essay or two each day and, withing a fortnight or so, begin the plotting out of the next section of the dissertation. Ugh.

Before I sign off for the evening, though, I want to thank the various people who have commented on the blog, emailed me, or linked to this little project. Over the course of the last few months, I have had the pleasure of corresponding with several people interested in Coetzee, ranging from the leader of a book club in California to scholars whose work I mention in various posts, not to mention the supportive teachers, friends and family who have been with me all along. It's been fun.

For tomorrow: Continue reading "The Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee" and reread one critical essay.


minxy said…
You're welcome, my friend. I don't mind commenting, even though I rarely have anything relevant to say.

Revisiting the criticism seems to be a good idea. You found so many more relevant passages after reading the novel again, so it would follow that refreshing yourself on the criticsm could yield the same result. Also, if I remember correctly, the critical articles for this novel aren't nearly as tough to get through as the ones for "Age of Iron" were. :)

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