Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Episode 1388: Minor (Maybe Major?) Breakthrough

First off, Internet 1, Warwick Library 0. There's this book called Hong Kong: Culture And The Politics Of Disappearance that I ordered in February through the Library because my supervisor recommended it. It's now July, and the book has yet to show up, despite there clearly being copies available on Amazon UK for £17. One Google search later, I have a PDF of the book. Have only read the introduction, as the rest of it is very Hong Kong-specific and I've got enough reading to do without getting bogged down in that, but the introduction threw up several points that could be reapplied to the Singaporean context, which is an incredible discovery for me. Together with another article or two, I might just have found a way to elegantly exclude the postcolonial from my dissertation. It was always going to be something that had to be done, if only to defend my argument from the criticism that it failed to consider this obvious paradigm, but I've been struggling to find a way to do it that goes beyond basically saying, 'I hate postcolonialism.' The other thing I've decided, which might be the major breakthrough that finally allows me to work out my introduction, is that rather than liminality coming in only at the conclusion, it really needs to be the concept (or the methodology, which my supervisor keeps telling me I need to articulate more of in my writing) that governs the whole dissertation. So no more of this faffing about in the introduction with trying to explain literary influence or how to reconcile the tourism-versus-nation problem. These concepts still matter, but they don't have to be the presiding idea, and can instead come in as and when a particular chapter needs them. I have a hunch that looking at all my thinking so far on my dissertation in this new light will really free me to start writing, instead of remaining paralysed by the thought of having to justify to myself a framework that would've been a thinly disguised patchwork anyway. This feels cleaner and more focused.

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