Wednesday, July 11, 2007

oh help and bother

*sigh* I'm still struggling with my conference paper. (And by "struggling," I mean, "haven't started writing it yet.") I don't feel like I have anything really new and interesting to say about Austen's hypochondriacs; Anita
Gorman
and John Wiltshire seem to have covered the important points already. Tangent: the library copy that I have of Wiltshire's book is, of course, library bound, so there's no picture on the front. The standard edition, however, features a picture of the stairs on the Cobb at Lyme, where Louisa Musgrove fell and whacked her noggin:
























I must say, those are some wicked stairs.

So anyway, my paper. With which I am struggling. I think I need to focus more on how Austen's treatment of hypochondria/health anxiety shows her engagement with the ideology of her time period, maybe by looking for information on other prominent Romantics and health anxiety. [Note to self: this is a Wordsworth conference, maybe I should say something about Wordsworth?] The thing is, my research so far has been extremely educational, which is great, but in another sense I feel like it hasn't really advanced my project much. I am getting very stressed out about this. I'm at the point now where I should really really be writing the paper, so I have adequate time for revision. I don't care if real professionals write their conference papers on the plane, I am NOT doing it that way.

4 comments:

Heidi said...

Haha, welcome to the academic world! :-D We're all like that. I'm finishing up my bits of research and have to type like crazy so I can write like mad to hand in the next 20 pages of my thinking that I'm supposed to hand in in less than two weeks now. I say thinking because I don't think I can really call it a thesis just yet... But anyway. Good luck! Are there hypochondriacs in Wordsworth... I'm trying to remember...

Octavia said...

Probably not in Wordsworth's work, although I suppose there could be. Everybody in that time period was obsessed with health and wellness, though, so that's the angle I should probably be pursuing.

Heidi said...

Well, there were a few mental cases in Wordsworth (cf The Thorn)... maybe they can be worked subtly into your paper on Jane Austen... :)

amy said...

Don't worry - you will get it (easier said than done, I know). I don't know much in regards to the vastness of the literary world, but I can say this...

When I get stuck, really stuck with a design problem and I am running out of time and my wits are frazzled, I say a prayer, a sincere plea for help, and then try to take my mind off of it for a little while.

That usually does the trick - when I get back to work (or even before, like when I'm in the shower or taking a walk) it will come to me.

Good luck!

BTW - I get a lot of my stuff done last minute as well - drives me insane, but at least it drives me.