(But our beginnings never know our ends!)
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Late Spring To-Do List
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Done, that is, with Chapter 4, the final chapter of my dissertation.
Those of you who are keeping up will remember that I still have to write the introduction to the whole damn project, which I don't expect to be a cakewalk--but all the same, getting to the end of my dissertation is extremely satisfying.
I find conclusions hard to write, even when I'm able to identify all the pieces that I want to be in there. It's that tone--slightly grand, slightly elegiac--that I just can't muster unless I'm in the mood, and unless I really feel done with a given subject. And I feel pathetic for admitting this, but when I do get that tone right, when it matches the substance of what I'm trying to say and when it bids a proper farewell to the material, it makes me cry. (I guess that's how I know that I have it right, but it also makes me feel like a big old cheeseball.)
I don't think I can explain it further. I've always cried at strange moments in movies or novels; moments when, for one reason or another, a sudden stabbing sense of the loveliness and vanity of human endeavors--those attempts at love or success or simple decency--comes upon me. (I bawled all through the epilogue to Middlemarch, both times, if that gives you any sense of what I'm talking about.) And the feeling that I have when I write an effective conclusion is similar, though I don't know what the referent for it is--am I just so damn moved by my subject matter? By my own deathless prose?
Dunno. But it's damn weird.
link | posted by La Lecturess at 11:05 PM |
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