Monday, September 18, 2006

Researchin' Blues

After reading the delightful novella Vathek (William Beckford), I set it aside to find an article expounding on all the thoughts of violence, kicking, eating, etc that I encountered in the strange little work of Orientalist British literature. I thought that surely with an hour or two I could turn up several possibilities that I could read and then pick one for my presentation later this week.

No such luck. I spent a frustrating two hours in front of laptop, turning up articles that mentioned Beckford and Vathek in passing, articles that were not what I wanted to talk about, or articles that were much too long to be used for the project. I'd find something that sounded good--only to discover with increasing despair its true nature. In desperation, I e-mailed my professor (a move that stung my pride) and wrote down some possibilities to take to the library the next morning before work.

Why did I have so much trouble finding a decent article on Vathek? Most likely because it is short, not that well known to scholars outside of the niche of British Romanticism, and usually no one wants to write purely on that work alone--they want to talk about it in reference to other works. So in the end, I did find a few articles that would "work", just not what I wanted.

Lesson: researchin' ain't easy. With that in mind, I decided that I needed to begin working on the research for my papers due later this semester (one next month...) and choose a work that was not so obscure, like Lewis' The Monk. Though I'm tempted to write an essay on all the things that I wanted to find in a nice scholarly essay on Vathek...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've had researching blues lately as well. Mine however are because I can't seem to do simple enough research. For my History of Higher Ed class we are writing weekly 1 page research papers. We are supposed to look deeper into a topic that interested us from the reading. Sounds like a sweet assignment but it is deceptively so. All of the interesting topics have had full books written on them, and let me tell you from experience; as far as time management is concerned, a 300 page book is not a good resource for a weekly 1 page paper.