Well, I did get my dissertation reading done early today. That was nice. Sure, the reading ended up only being a few pages long, but I did it, so I felt a tiny bit better about things than I did last night. Still, I found that my attention span has evaporated and virtually anything can distract me. I mean, sure, maintaining focus has always been difficult for me, especially when directed towards something that either does not immediately grab my interest or, as has been the case recently, with which I am frustrated (contrast my struggle to get through piles of literary criticism with, say, the fact that I could not put down Our Band Could Be Your Life). I'm curious to see how things go when, after I finish reading the next month's worth of essays (yeah . . . another month), I no longer have to read criticism. I remember just how hellish I found writing the chapter on The Master of Petersburg, though, so I am not exactly anticipating bliss, but I reckon a change (at least for the first week or two) will be nice.
Still, I suppose this is what a dissertation is. Or what it can be. It's a constant struggle with oneself. Every day, I question the value of what I am doing, the likelihood of it paying off in the way I would like it to, and the implications of my struggles (am I doing the right thing with my life? and is it possible to fashion a satisfying life while doing something as difficult and time-consuming as writing a dissertation?).
And yet I go on.
For tomorrow: Read another essay or work on the bibliography.