Tuesday, September 07, 2010

GS: one week down

A bit of housekeeping: I'm going to try using GS in the subject line to denote posts that are solely devoted to grad school and literary studies. I know those topics don't interest some of you and that way you can tell at a glance if it's one of those.
Every time I sit down to type a post, I wonder how in the world I'm going to be able to organize the swirl of thoughts in my head into something coherent enough for someone else to understand. Which is why my posts frequently begin with some sort of caveat about how I'm not sure how to say this, I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this, how the hell am I going to make this work, or whatever. But it occurred to me today that exactly that dilemma is what it means to be a writer. Duh. Of course I have to figure out how to put it into words. that's the whole point. So, no more apologies on that score. But that's exactly what I'm thinking right now.

I really wish I had never brought up the whole theory issue (which is mostly in these posts), because I'm going to end up having to eat a lot of crow. Even though I know it's a complex issue, I had no idea exactly how complex, or how quickly it would come up. It's ludicrous of me to think that I can have something relevant to say after having been out of the academic world for 25 years. But I did bring it up, and I stated my uninformed opinion rather strongly, and so now I'm feeling honor bound to keep slogging away at this.  It will help me figure out what I think to type it out, anyway.

So maybe if I tell you the story of my first week you will get the idea.  I'll skip over the Shakespeare class for right now, even though it looks like it will be a lot of fun, because it's pretty straightforward.  The issues that have my brain locked up come from the other two classes.  One is Intro to Graduate Studies, which is, for the most part, a theory class.  The other is "Progressive Women," about four American women writers from the early twentieth century, which will have a pretty strong feminist component, and I hope some exposure to other theories as well.

OK, I got that far (above) last Friday, but then got bogged down trying to explain what I wanted to say.  Then today I had my theory class again (it only meets once a week), and realized that it's just silly for me to try and say anything intelligent about it at this point.  I just don't know enough.  I will say -- for one thing-- that the posts that I've already written about feminism seem to be in response to a version of feminism that is now out of date.  In other words, I've been responding to the feminist literary criticism professor I had in 1982, not to the state of feminist thought now.  So there's my first little bit of crow, and I'm sure there's more to come.

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