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    Sobriquet 47.26

    Sunday, October 26, 2008
    Today felt like a lazy Saturday. I mean, I napped twice, played punk songs (poorly) on my bass for a while, took a nice, long walk, and even watched a bit of television. I also chatted on the phone for over an hour. Oh, and I bought the most recent Gaslight Anthem album, The '59 Sound, to which I listened several times over.

    Still, though, I got a pretty sizable chunk of reading done today. Admittedly, Alas, Babylon is an enjoyable book to read, but it is still technically work since I'll be teaching it all this week.

    On the dissertation front, I've opted to stick with Brink's The Rights of Desire, which may very well figure into the chapter on Disgrace. Having never read Brink before, I have to say that my first impression of the author is extremely positive. Brink is an exceptionally gifted storyteller, one whose fiction is undeniably worthy of the global attention he has earned.

    For tomorrow: Same as today.

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    Wednesday, October 15, 2008
    Since I did not leave campus until after ten this evening, I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on the dissertation. Since I was so tired, I decided not to force myself to read any criticism, figuring fatigue would prevent me from focusing. Instead, I finally began reading Andre Brink's The Rights of Desire. Although I do not anticipate devoting much space to the novel in a dissertation focused on J. M. Coetzee, I want to at least familiarize myself with a work many scholars have discussed in relation to Disgrace. Whether or not Brink will figure into my project remains to be seen, but I can definitely see how comparing the two books could yield significant insight into either individual text. Indeed, the reclusively bookish Reuben Oliver bears more than a passing resemblance to the equally standoffish scholar at the center of Coetzee's novel.

    For tomorrow: Read, transcribe, work on the bibliography, or read a bit more of The Rights of Desire.

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    ____________________________________________
    Saturday, September 13, 2008
    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.

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