Friday, 10 September 2010

You spin me right round baby, right round!

... So it appears there is a rather good reason as to why I have been feeling out of sorts. I have - it's a gobful so be warned - benign paroxysmal positional vertigo!!! Oh yes! None of your run o'the mill dizzy spells for me ... I get BPPV! It should be easy enough to get rid of, as I have to do some exercises! These exercises involve lying on the bed on one side then the other ... that I can do! What I do find difficult though is lying on one of those medical couches and being asked to 'flip over' onto my other side ... that could not have looked pretty from behind!

So I haven't been terribly productive as regards my Ph.D. I spent sometime discovering the world of Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, anthropologist and philosopher who has developed a theory of symbolic violence which will hopefully provide a sufficiently sturdy framework from which to hang my thesis.

Symbolic violence in a nutshell is linguistic violence, language that in some way uses cultural norms or idioms to oppress and dominate. This is a perfect theory to expand several of my key ideas regarding the militaristic rhetoric of suffrage literature and the rhetorical violence exhibited by Vorticists and West. I've read a few snatches of the books I bought and so far he hasn't resorted to dense incomprehensible twaddle that many philosophers think is the bedrock of philosophical thought. Thank F8ck for Amazon!  Even though I am a little rusty on my Saussure and Chomsky, I still vaguely remember the basics which should help me out negotiating these new ideas. Ironically I discovered Bourdieu (you have to read this with an atrociously bad nasal French accent - it's the only way I can seem to say it - read it even!) reading a book that doesn't really relate to what I am writing about - but her introduction has given me so many pointers for my own work. It was only released in June, and surprisingly it was in the library (which is just as well as it is £48 on Amazon!) so that was a lucky find! Maybe this little piece of the jigsaw will help! It's like finding all the edge pieces and making the frame - the middle bit seems to naturally follow.

From The Literary Gift Company.
I had a despairing email from a colleague of mine, who has declared the state of his writer's block has reached unprecedented levels and for some reason this proved reassuring! So I am not alone  - the cosmos is not conspiring against me!

Thanks for the comments of support. The words of 'virtual' friends can be deeply reassuring when you are sat staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor wondering where the hell your next sentence is going to come from! 

have a good weekend and hope to see you all bright and early on Monday! 

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