Scholarly writing and how to get it done. / And a workshop for my own ideas, scholarly and poetic
I was going to go twice as fast and learn a new key every half month, since I already have a good grasp of the key for January, B. But I am ...
I remember when my dissertation committee suddenly demanded a chapter of biography of the poet. Biographical information wasn't as easy to get then, and biography wasn't the focus of my research, and what they wanted was a retelling of what had already been said. It wasn't easy to figure out what to do, especially given that so much of what had been said was so mythologizing, and not to repeat was some sort of violation of something sort of sacred. I felt the whole thing verged upon plagiarism but they did not; it is one of the reasons I experience academia as a place where you are coerced to do things you know are wrong.
Interesting. I rarely mention any biographical fact at all! Biography is original research in its own right--or else recital of basic facts in the public domain, or of careful citing of other sources. I cannot have an original biographical thought about Lorca or Vallejo without citing a source, since i've done no research.
Right. To this day I cannot figure out what their deal, or fixation was on this. But then that whole dissertation experience was disappointing. I had written things on about that level in 6th grade, and they wanted it at that level; *so much less* was desired than ever before, or in other words you seemed to have to regress so much to do something passable. And *then* they went on about my beautiful prose, "It reads like a book," etc., but what did they expect at that point, with all of the writing practice we had by then? It just all seemed super negligent and abusive, but their explanation was that I wouldn't finish anyway or get a job anyway, so why should they do more than hit me a few times and ignore me the rest of the time? This, I suppose, was the moment at which I began to truly dislike academia and professors.
(Although since I have commented under my name I must qualify and say that once I got back from Brazil FRM did read, and read in a timely manner, and make comments that were at least in part useful; that GK should have been the director of it and was nice; and that TC was *right* about certain parts of it and I still have his comments archived for when I get back to that mss. to do it in a serious way -- it is such a shame, the people who hated it, him and JO, are the people others do not believe, and I do not think they made negative comments to be mean but because they were taking it seriously, and I think the actual negative comments were made by others, and they were about what the professors surmised I was and not about my work, and they tended to be about things like clothes/hair/health, I looked like I had slept well and so on and therefore I could not be a serious student, GOD. Sickening. I hate Easterners. Notice how upset I still am about all of this.
...but that is off topic. It's just that I notice there are a lot of instructions to copy, and I get a lot of students from foreign countries who have been taught they SHOULD copy because if not, they are not honoring their elders. Of course they cite, but at the same time they have very odd ideas about what they should cite, and it is all about having the right to an opinion or not, or the right to an independent voice. And it's not an excuse for Bialoksy. I just have my blood rise in the other direction, having spent my life being told not to be straightforward, not to have views of my own, etc., barely to have my own words, and having been told THAT was scholarship.
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