writing an actual paper (not just a proposal) in one’s own field of study. I’ve used this reading week to work on my paper for the NeMLA conference in April, on Middleton’s The Maiden’s Tragedy (I’m arguing the play not only mocks the signs of patriarchal authority, but also that it possibly proposes a feminine Other in place of Freud’s primary Father; the Tyrant’s attempted necrophilia is a means of attempting to deny this feminine Other). It’s an entirely fun process, this writing.
This might have something to do with the fact that I’ve managed to start the paper well before I have to present it (no deadline panic for me!). Or, more likely, that The Maiden’s Tragedy is one of the funniest tragedies around. (I seem to have lost all patience for the solomn reverence tragedy usually attracts.)
I’m also revisiting articles on Jacobean city comedy and boy actors in general, and Jonson’s Epicoene in particular. (It’s not really possible to write about the former two subjects and not talk about Epicoene; I’m covering old ground, but it should be useful in helping outline the psychoanalytic theory for my project. So my chapter outline claims, at any rate.) This, too, has been fun, and I’m generally feeling more enthusiastic about this thesis thing than I was last term.
Good old Ben and TM, Gent.
20 February 2010 ~ Hamilton