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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dreaming My Defense

I've begun the process of writing in earnest. I am working hard on Chapter 2. I have the entire thing outlined so I am now filling in the outline, first with the points I want to make just free form off the top of my head, then filling in with quotes from my interviews. After that I will go in and add quotes and arguments from academic works to verify, pin-down, or argue with my points. Then I will add quotes and points from memoirs, films and literature. Finally I will smooth it all together to create a whole chapter and make sure that any contradictions are on purpose and not just weakening my thesis.

As I have been writing my points it's been an intense process that feels like I'm finally putting proof to a conviction that I have always had. It's a very difficult experience to describe, but it feels like I'm ripping meaning out of myself, like it has been in there as a whole object and I'm extracting it. Perhaps this is the very social complex that I am trying to describe. It exists as a psychological complex inside of me, and now I am trying to extract it out, pick it apart and describe all of its pieces. In my moments of doubt I wonder if it is even possible for me to be able to pull out and describe what are in actuality complexes within my own psyche.

As I have been writing, my dreams have become a series of me describing and defending my various points to different internal characters. Last night I was getting a particularly severe judgment as I was trying to defend my concept of "cool." The person I was defending against was clearly a symbol of coolness that I didn't know I carried around with me. He was coolly unimpressed with my thesis and put me through my paces for most of the wee hours of the morning. I woke up with a painful feeling of uncertainty, and yet he is exactly the sort of character I wish to describe in that section of the dissertation. It was as if he was trying to intimidate me, like the lobbyist for that complex. Well, I will not be routed by my own psyche. I am moving forward into the next section with insecure resolve, but resolve nonetheless. I wonder if I will have any jitters at all when I finally stand for my oral defense, or if it will feel like a familiar process that I've been doing every night for over a year?