Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Home on the Couch

Since Shawn and I both had grant proposals to deal with this week, we decided that today would be a Day Without Archive.
While I did succeed in sending a proposal draft to my recommenders, by afternoon I would rather have been in the archive. It's much more fun to look at old clippings and strange little dossiers than to try to wrestle 25 pages that resemble a real chapter out of 60 pages of pieces and notes.
What ends up happening during this wrestling process is that text gets ruthlessly deleted until one realizes that a given section no longer appears to have any reason to exist in its abbreviated form. Once every fun quote about Paris cafes is removed, Paris cafes cease to be interesting no matter how many Czech avant-gardists spent time in them. And, before long, it seems as though the only parts that still hang together are those that rely entirely on other people's research and say nothing about any Czech avant-gardists or anything else Czech.
It would be desirable, after all, to submit a "chapter" that actually shows I have done some manner of original research, can read Czech, and that is more about art and artists than about topics that in isolation appear to be about something else entirely (no matter how important they may be to the art/artist in the larger picture). Chapter 1 does all these things, it simply also has things like a literature review and an explanation of my methodology.
I remain very annoyed and should probably go off and read a novel.
--Or, to do something entirely different, I could follow Orion's example and go out and vigorously dig up the back yard. I hear that this is one of his favorite pursuits and requires my father to follow him around and fill up the holes.

2 Comments:

Anonymous bikerbar said...

Can't you just submit chapter 1 and call it chapter 2 ...

Then later in your process you decide this chapter is best at the beginning ..

October 19, 2006 10:42 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Well, if so much of it weren't devoted to literature review and methodology... but one could also argue that the part with archival research is too biographical and not art-related enough. It all depends what they're looking for.

October 20, 2006 11:07 PM  

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