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    Sobriquet 43.11: Six Months In

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008
    Since today marks the sixth-month anniversary of the dissertation blog project, I thought it might be fun to do a little retrospective thing. Unfortunately, I am having some difficulty publishing the blog this evening, so this may appear a day or two later.

    Okay, when I started this blog project in December, my understanding of what I would be writing was a bit different that it is today. Initially, I imagined that I would read Diary of a Bad Year and The Master of Petersburg and re-read Age of Iron (which I was in the process of doing at the time) and Slow Man to add some content to a brief essay I'd published on Disgrace a few years ago. I was hoping that the effort would yield a fifty- or sixty-page chapter. Since then, my focus has shifted entirely to J. M. Coetzee's fiction. Dissertations, it would seem, are highly mutable.

    Now, after six months of blogging my way through the dissertation, this is what I've got to show for it:

    Blog posts: 170 (171 including this one).

    J. M. Coetzee novels read: 8 1/2 (I was about halfway through rereading Age of Iron when I began. I also read The Master of Petersburg twice).

    Total novels finished: 17 1/2.

    Top Five Novels (in no particular order): Disgrace, The Road (Cormac McCarthy), Invisible Monsters (Chuck Palahniuk), Life and Times of Michael K, Waiting for the Barbarians.

    Critical essays read: 57 (plus a hell of a lot of rereading and consulting sections of books).

    Total pages written: 83.

    Chapters written: 1 (with a second pending supervisor's approval)

    Computers used: 3

    Computers killed: 1

    Restaurants in which I have done work: Barnes and Noble Cafe, Bob Evans', Cyber Cafe West, Denny's, Old Country Buffet, Friendly's (3), Iron Skillet, Soul Full Cup Cafe. And I am probably forgetting some.

    Libraries used: at least fourteen.

    Literary critics that have contacted me: 2.

    Reading groups that have contacted me: 1.

    Courses taught: 7.

    Sense of accomplishment: better after six months than before.

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