Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finishing

Sometimes I think the book I am finishing is brilliant. Sometimes I think it's under-researched, under-theorised and badly written.

Sometimes I think I'll have it ready to send off by the 21st of this month, as promised. Sometimes I think I'm just deluding myself.

Nevertheless, it finally now feels I am on a train that won't stop till I get there. There's a closing finality about each long sentence I break into two, each extraneous comma I remove, each query ("follow up", it says) I either resolve or abandon, each time I check whether I have already referred to a book or article so I can use its abbreviated title in the notes (Chicago style, I love you).

On Sunday I decided not to work on it late at night because it then became too hard to sleep. Yesterday I worked on it till midnight and slept all night, dreaming vividly, but sleeping all the same.

Nearly there.

5 comments:

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

'Sometimes I think it's under-researched ...'

You? Pfft.

'... under-theorised ...'

From the distance I now have on academe, most of my former colleagues worry too much about under-theorising and not enough about over-theorising.

'... and badly written.'

Not a chance.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Heh. Well I won't draw your - or anyone's - attention to the depths of Order of the Garter history I haven't plumbed. Oh alright: the complex textual relations between the hundreds of copies of the statutes issued over 650 years remain untouched. Probably a good thing.

On over-theorising? I did say it was brilliant, didn't I? so that must mean it strikes a perfect balance between text, commentary and theory. This book needs a theoretical framework to kind of give it a point beyond all the hilarious stories it tells and the long elastic histories it negotiates. But I have tried, really I have, to keep the writing understandable. I invented only two terms: "mythic capital" and "demedievalizing." And I still really like both of those.

Badly written? There do seem to be an awful lot of hesitant and gasping commas. Begone! I tell them.

Mindy said...

"the complex textual relations between the hundreds of copies of the statutes issued over 650 years remain untouched." Well there's a PhD thesis for someone then. Lots to get stuck into.

Mindy said...
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Sentiment_Al said...

"Demedievalizing." The process of switching from Beef Wellington to steak and bread?