A little theory goes a long way

Today was one of those days where I really wish my students could see my writing process, and how truly painful it can be sometimes! After teaching, I had about a four-hour stretch of time that I knew I really needed to spend on the The Lady from the Sea article (or any research project, really). I probably frittered away the first hour of that “tracking things down” for a different project entirely, but eventually even I could see that this was basically just avoidance behavior, no matter how “useful” on some level.

Then I remembered that I had intended to re-read the article by Michael Issacharoff that I refer to ever-so briefly in the intro to the article, in hopes that it would help me make something out of the performance material I’m working with. As luck would have it I had a PDF that I haven’t looked at for something like three years still available on my computer, so I printed it out and read it with absolute delight. What a good article it is! I had completely forgotten his arguments about representation and indexicality, and they are so relevant to Fruen fra havet.

I went back to my text and plugged in a bunch of references to Issacharoff in the section on the play’s stage directions, but ran out of time to go further. I scribbled some notes as thoughts occurred on the commute home, though, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to start applying Issacharoff to the performances tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting to hear back from the National Library about whether there are any more photographs of performances available for me to look at. But depending on how things go tomorrow, I may not even need them. I feel a million times better about this article already, but I had to start the process in the absolute nadir of intellectual creativity and scramble my way up. There were so many moments today (up until the point when I got ahold of Issacharoff) when I was on the verge of giving up and going home early, or going shopping, or just starting to prep for next week’s class. I’m so glad I didn’t.

Words written: 591


One response to “A little theory goes a long way

  1. Love this post, your description of how you managed to go from procrastination to flow (or something like it) is so well observed and written. You must have a great advantage from your self reflection in your writing prosess.

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