Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Episode 1283: How To Procrastinate (By Writing Something Else That Needs Writing)

Was in the Library today and I noticed there was a new book of critical essays on Kazuo Ishiguro, which I borrowed out of curiosity. I'm a huge Ishiguro fan, and I don't think he gets enough critical attention. If I did a PhD and could bring myself to write about novels instead of poetry, Ishiguro would be one of my top picks. Anyway, two days ago I was up trying to sort out the first paragraph of my review of Hope: A Tragedy. As usual, one paragraph led to another and I ended up staying up till I finished the review, which you can read here. That's one down of the four I plan to write this week, although I might scale that back to three. Then it's going to be one per week, two at most, for the rest of the holidays, as I need to start working on that conference paper. I figure if I start on that next week, it gives me an entire week in which I can listlessly type and retype my introduction, while I figure out how the paper needs to look. Then I'll have a fortnight to actually get it written. If that works, it also means that I could work at that pace on the other chapters of my dissertation, which is quite reassuring. Unless when my supervisor sees the draft of the conference paper, he declares it to be awful, in which case, well, back to the drawing board on how to go about assembling 16000 words. I feel like I'm being too cavalier about the whole matter, a dissertation being one of those 'serious things' and all, but at the same time, I don't want to turn into one of those students for whom academic work becomes the be all and end all of their existence. I want to do well, obviously. I just don't buy the typical Asian mentality that your work has to become an all-consuming object.

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