More Please

The latest chapter is going well. Very well. I'm happy with it because it marks my transition from the student who could discuss "how" very well but always had problems jumping to "why." For example, I could have written an entire dissertation on Daniela Fishcerov√°'s plays telling you how she deconstructs Czech cultural myths without ever telling you why she bothered. This would not have troubled me because I was (am) interested in the nuts and bolts. I like to take things apart. They can be put back together by someone else. Yes, I was, for a very long time and in spite of my excellent training as a historian, a contextless wonder. This chapter won't let me be a contextless wonder, however. It would suck and be about fifteen pages long if I ignored everything going on around it.

My one problem at the moment is a lack of feedback. I send my advisor ten-page chunks and the only edits on the pages she e-mails back to me are reminders to footnote things and a little plea at the end of each chunk: "More please." I'm happy that she has found no gaping holes in my logic. I'm ecstatic that she wants to read more. But I know that there are problems. My theoretical framework is problematic as I glide from Prague Structuralism (out of fashion, but oh so useful), to reader response theory (which is an extension of one part of Prague Structuralism) to some vague semiotic/cultural studies framework (also out of fashion, but Eagleton can kiss my ass, Lotman is a genius) to no formal framework (which makes the reader's life a bit confusing at points). I can cope with the fact that I'm repetitive at this point and that my intro sucks and that there are some holes in my logic that need to be filled in before my ideal reader, i.e. Ptichka, can understand exactly what's going on. But there is also the one great fear:

What if I'm missing something?

Just typing that sentence made my hands sweat and my heart race. Time to shove it back into the closet while I try to give my advisor exactly what she wants at the moment and what I need to give her if I'm going to graduate next June: more.


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