Well, I suppose every productive day has its unproductive counterpart. And today, unlike Wednesday, was not a particularly good day for my dissertation. Although I woke up with plenty of energy and a desire to get some real work done, I ended up struggling to focus all day. No matter where I went -- restaurants, bookstores, you name it -- I could not get into a groove and now, at a quarter past midnight, I am still working on the day's article. Ugh.
As I have mentioned many, many times before, I have grown pretty tired of reading literary criticism, which I have been doing almost daily for more than three months now. Again, I realize full well that I could probably write my chapter on Disgrace without reading the remaining criticism, but I feel obliged to finish what I started. I don't like the idea of doing anything half-assed and I know that if I were to skip the last few articles, I would end up regretting it and I would undoubtedly carry that regret with me for a long, long time. So, in an effort to make finishing the criticism a bit easer for myself, I have decided to read a bit of Andre Brink's The Rights of Desire (Donkermaan) in lieu of Disgrace criticism whenever I feel I really need a break from the monotony of that particular project. Brink's novel, as many Coetzee scholars are eager to point out, takes its English title from David Lurie's statement to the university disciplinary committee that his "case rests on the rights of desire," and provides an interesting and significant intertextual reference point for readers of Disgrace. Since it appears in so many discussions of Disgrace and because the two novels deal with many of the same issues, I feel that I should at least read The Rights of Desire and, if I'm lucky, I might be able to integrate it into my chapter. We'll see.
For tomorrow: Read another article and/or a bit of The Rights of Desire.