Thursday, June 26, 2008

So Easily Daunted

3 a.m. revelation: the difference between school year sleep and summer sleep (other than sweatiness) is the frequency of the wide-awake fretting sessions. During the year, I have these at least once a week. This summer, there have been relatively few. Until last night, wherein I realized that I'm quickly backing myself into a corner with this research project. If I don't get it off the ground soon, I'm going to have to offer the editor sexual favors. Normally, I'm not above that kind of thing, but it does put a cramp in my professionalism (and other parts, depending on the favor...).

So, I finally lowered my 4 a.m. pulse rate with the promise that I would start today, even if it were something small. One page of text, regardless of how good or bad it is. Start with the primary text, just to see what you're dealing with.

Now, I should note that my primary text is a set of videos. No, not like the Truffaut collection, but rather a collection of YouTube videos. When I first proposed this article, there were a small set of them (maybe 15). I've been sporadically favoriting them all spring, with the idea that I'd return to them as a data set. Well, well. I looked at the folder this morning, and realized that 3 of the 15 had been removed. Horror! So I typed in the keywords to the YouTube search, just to see what else came up. 373. !!!!!!! Guess what I'm going to be doing this morning?

You know, when I was but a nervous and wary graduate student, my plan was to become a scholar of British Modernism. Somewhere along the way, that morphed and morphed again. There are times when I'm happy not to be writing about something that has been written about by thousands of other researchers who are undoubtedly better readers and writers than I of those canonical primary texts. But occasionally, I just wish that my new/emerging primary texts would stand still.

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