Sobriquet 40.14

The following post was originally published on 3/16/08.

Today was, quite unexpectedly, one of the better days I've had lately, both in terms of working on the dissertation and enjoying myself. Though I had planned to finish reading In the Heart of the Country sometime tomorrow, I went ahead and read the rest of the book this afternoon. Then, energized after an evening of pub food and hanging out with friends (which I'd not planned on doing), I finished reviewing the criticism on The Master of Petersburg. So I'm in good shape.

Now, it is a matter of getting myself back into writing mode after close to two months of reading and note-taking. It's strange: when I started writing what I'd intended to be a five- or ten-page section on Age of Iron in January, I'd assumed it would have been the first few pages of a long chapter on J. M. Coetzee. Although I was worried about the quality of my writing at that time, I wasn't too worried about the quantity of words devoted to Age of Iron, assuming that I would use the novel as an ingress into a broad discussion of several Coetzee novels. Now that the direction and focus of my dissertation has narrowed, however, I worry a great deal about the length of the next section. I think how can I possibly write another thirty page chapter on this novel? Having raised the bar of my expectations, I fear I will not be able to replicate the unanticipated success of the first section. Where I had very little difficulty writing more than I'd planned the last time 'round, this time I worry that I will struggle to hit my target length--and that worries me.

That's where I stand now. I am staring at yet another seemingly insurmountable wall in what can only be described as a series of apparently insurmountable walls comprising an unfathomably huge obstacle. I try to remind myself that I already scaled the first wall, that I emerged unscathed but, man oh man, that sense of accomplishment is a flimsy one at best and relying too heavily upon past achievements for present success, I suspect, mightn't be too wise.

We will see how things go.

For tomorrow: Transcribe a bit of material.


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