From the second to the third chapter

by ninashiel

Because I have a vast number of things to do by the end of this week, I am, obviously blogging. It has turned out to be quite hard to keep this blog up to date. As I noted to a friend, after working on the computer all day, often the last thing I want to do is to produce a coherent and professional blog post. Highly ironic for someone whose specialisation is the interface between traditional literature and the digital. Part of it is, of course, that my long-term interest has turned into work, albeit work I enjoy very much, but it is no longer just ‘fun’. As an interesting psychological reaction, I have found myself attracted to crafts of various sorts in my freetime. A desire to do something concrete with my hands, perhaps? I’m not going to make promises about updating more regularly this year, but I will, at the very least, keep the blog going. 

Just before Christmas I finished my second chapter and got feedback on it from my supervisor a couple of weeks ago. It was fine, with some little tweaks needed but nothing serious. We will review it again once I have compiled the entire thesis in draft form, and see if anything further needs to done at that stage. I spent nearly twenty thousand words in laying down and developing my theoretical framework. Obviously, I start with ekphrasis and the differences in its perception now and in Classical secondary literature, but I also bring in geocriticism and the reader-response theory. It was a lot of work and I had been very apprehensive beforehand, but also observed that this was probably going to be my most difficult chapter. I expect that the subsequent ones will be easier. I have started work on the third chapter and will be working on it for the next while. In it, I will examining the parallel development of virtual worlds in fiction and virtual worlds in the real world, and tracing the relationship between the two. 

In related ephemera, I have received an acceptance to the ‘Islands and Continents: (Re)constructions of Identity’ conference in Madeira 26-28 September, just sent an abstract to another conference and been preparing for two sessions on Eavan Boland’s poetry to the first year undergraduates in the first two weeks of the semester. I have marked some undergraduate essays and I still have a few MA ones to do. I’ll be interested to see the differences and similarities, both in good and bad, in the two different categories.