May 15, 2006

Monday, 15 May

After seeming to claw back a little ground on my studies last week — knocking over in a day–and–a–half the script for my thirty–minute presentation How Servius Shaped Petrarch's Reading of the Eclogues — I returned to the Learning Grid today to resume the gruelling drudgery that is the writing of Thesis Chapter IV.

Over the course of a little more than four hours, I earned the meagre reward [but a reward nonetheless] of about four–hundred words. Initially — it had been so long after all those half–baked, aborted attempts to start the thing off — I couldn't quite remember how I actually planned to marry up the two strands of my introduction: the Bucolicum Carmen and Petrarch on the cusp of the Renaissance and the Bucolicum Carmen as relates to Petrarch's theories of poetry & poetic imitation.

So much time was spent dragging out those ideas an inch at a time, staring out the window at the flickering drizzle and scribbling on a piece of A4. I felt a great deal of sympathy with the ENGXIAND attack as they chip, chip, chipped away at Sri Lanka's batsmen, toiling in vain for a breakthrough that would never come. And indeed, though my introduction is written, I fear it wouldn't be adequate for a regular essay — let alone a full chapter. I'm resolved to proceed and return to rewrite it later, if necessary.

At about half–past three I threw up my hands and accepted that I couldn't carry on; had left the relevant books at home and paid a brief visit to the teeming library to locate other required passages for photocopying. Will return in the morning to press on into the main body of the discussion.

40,000 words feels a long, long way away still.


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