Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Post-New Year Numbers

25: number of unread posts in my feed reader for my Technorati search of blogs with some authority for ‘McSweeney’s’.

46: number of unread posts in my feed reader for my Technorati search of blogs with any authority for ‘McSweeney’s’.

278: number of unread posts in my feed reader in my “Academic” folder

19 (December): last post on here, and this is roughly the last time I did anything academic, excluding marking essays.

37: number of essays I have to mark.

16 (January): when I have to mark these essays for.

15 (January): when I present a (totally unwritten, largely unformed) paper at my Department’s graduate seminar series.

17 (January): BookCamp (yes, that will be a busy time for me).

13: days I have to work on my paper.

5: hours I have left in the British Library today to get some kind of start done on my presentation.

I’ve written about this paper here previously. Before Christmas, I was largely playing about, trying to make my thinking a bit more sophisticated and explore some of the problems I was constructing in my head. Like whether or not my work could be accused of being cultural studies (harsh for English studies!). I wanted to give my ideas some breathing room, but now that I have less than two weeks til presenting the paper I have to just to write it.

The paper is going to present what I imagine will be the first chapter of my thesis, or the conceptual basis of it, at least. In my previous post, I set forth the following:

My premise 1: the reading experience of McSweeney’s is fragmented; this makes it problematic to discuss in literary criticism.

My premise 2: multiple approaches, different ways of describing the reading context of McSweeney’s will replicate the reading experience (in an inevitably incomplete fashion, though this does not compromise the representation, as aren’t all representations incomplete? total representation being impossible?).

These still hold now, but instead of using them as a way to justify thinking, I am going to start writing using these as a description of what my paper will achieve. Am going offline now to write a brief structural plan – four or so approaches to McSweeney’s, giving each one just under ten minutes for me to demonstrate what this method can bring to understanding its reading context.


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