An Update on my Doings, As Well As a Muddy Theoretical Meditation
Need I mention that there has been no break? I mean, there has been some procrastination, but that takes a lot of energy. There has been writing. There has been grading (though only 1/3 of the grading that I need to do). There has been dealing with suitors, though there has been a slight slow-down on that end. I'm currently in active talks with only two - The Chemical Engineer and The Marketing Guy. I'm intrigued by the Chemical Engineer. We shall see. Re: the Computer Guy... I never heard from him again. Which I thought was kind of weird, since I emailed him a thank you after the date. I'd think I'd at least warrant a you're welcome. At any rate, I sent him a follow-up email today, as he hasn't closed off communication with me, and it occurred to me that there may be some sort of miscommunication that's happened. Yes, I may have made a fool of myself, but the glorious thing about the internet dating is that one isn't making a fool of oneself in front of anybody one cares about. Why not be a fool? It's not going to make things worse, no? And I really don't want him to think that I'm the asshole here. Why that matters, I'm not entirely sure, but it does.
At any rate, enough of all of that nonsense. What I really want to write about is what I've been writing. I'm not going to talk about it in an entirely concrete way here, but I can give the theoretical gist, and I can talk a bit about why I want to write about it on the blog.
What I'm working on in this article is a Foundational Feminist Novel by Author X and I'm exploring the notion that it is engaging the theoretical argument about women's writing that is put forward a generation before in a Foundational Feminist Polemic by Author Y. This is a somewhat controversial claim to make, as 1) Author X often disputes being connected with her immediate literary precursors, 2) Author X has resisted the tendency to categorize the novel on which I'm working as a "feminist" novel, and 3) the wacky theory of Author Y at first seems not to make any sense with Author X's novel. That said, the work that I'm doing is really interesting, I think, and as I was trying to iron out the theory behind what I'm arguing yesterday, I realized that there is a really strong connection between what I'm thinking about with Author X and what I think about in terms of my own blog-writing.
At the heart of what I'm trying to do in this article of mine - and I suppose in all of my work on Author X - is to find a way to theorize the idea that one can be a "woman writer" without necessarily expressing some "truth" of female identity, even as one attempts to articulate experiences of female bodies and of female emotions. How can the woman writer find the authority that she needs to acquire in order to write while at the same time being coded in society as subordinate on the basis of sex/gender? If authority is connected with the name-of-the-author, what connection does the "real woman" have to that name, or is that name just another way of limiting the writer, and thus foreclosing attempts at the writerly?
I know that what I'm writing here is abstract and probably doesn't make any sense, but I feel a deep connection between these theoretical concerns with the literature that I'm examining and the theoretical concerns of this blogging persona that I've created. How does one write as a woman (which I do think is an important project), write the personal (which I also think is valuable), while also trying to write in ways that break the boundaries of the identity-category "woman" (or academic, or mother, or single-girl, or whatever)? How can one be personal and impersonal (universal?) at the same time? How does one negotiate the demands of writing as a woman and the desire to be authorized in a more general way as just "writer"?
I realize that this is an unsatisfactory end to this post, but in writing it I've realized that I'm an idiot who cannot stop herself from procrastinating. I really have to put this energy into the article and not into talking in an abstract way about it in order to legitimize my blogging procrastination :)
6 years ago