Reading Derrida for the first time…

Nerds Have More Fun

Is akin to watching “Fall Out,” (the final episode in The Prisoner. It blows your mind.
However, unlike “Fall Out,” Derrida lacks two important things:
Cathartic release.
Patrick McGoohan.

This is why I should not be reading theory early in the morning. I’m not even reading Derrida right now–I’m reading Althusser and Zizek. But Zizek’s the man, so its okay.

 

(C) Beth

TU: Arrival of the Books

Thesis Updates

Well, it turns out that I don’t need to make a trip to Washington to get my books. One of the other school libraries in Boston had them, and now I do, too.

So, hurray! I can now spend my days finishing my preliminary research and revising my proposal. I still need to determine which theoretical lens I’m going to examine The Prisoner through. I’m leaning very heavily towards postmodernism, someone like Foucault. But I think I will reread Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage before I return to school in September.

Lots of reading ahead of me! And I still need to finish watching Danger Man.

For fun, I’m reading John le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and enjoying that very much.

Still breathing!

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I’m alive. Sorry I haven’t posted anything this entire month. I really have no excuse, apart from work and internships taking up a lot of time (but in the best way possible). Alas, my various fiction endeavors have taken a back seat to researching for my thesis (which is partially due in December, entirely due the end of April). Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying my supplemental research. I’ve nearly completed all of the hour-long episodes of Danger Man (sorry, Holmes).

I am, however, still working on my one short story a month goal, which is going pretty well. I haven’t finished July’s story yet, but it’s been started. I’m experimenting a bit. The entire story is told through dialogue. There aren’t any dialogue tags; there are no descriptions, no thoughts. It’s fun to write. I’ve found that its a good way to test individual voices, to ensure that the characters sound different.

Shameless plug to my other blog: Sheer Art Attack which I’ve been far better at updating.

TU: A (momentary) kink the equation…

Thesis Updates

So, I finished Spy Television today. I think I have close to 70 notecards written, and I intend on photocopying the chapter on the McGoohan spy shows for future reference.

Last week, I requested four books through Inter Library Loan for the project–only one of which is in a library in my homestate. So, after some minor complaining and wondering how I was to get two of these (I’m just going to bite the bullet and purchase one), my mom made a brilliant suggestion:

Go to the Library of Congress.

Brilliant.

So, in August, if all goes well, I’m going to Washington, DC to do some research for this project. It may end up being only slightly more expensive to make this trip as opposed to buying all of the books that I need. The LoC has all of the books I need. Not to mention the International Spy Museum, which really won’t help my project much, but it’s a fun museum. 🙂

This may be slight overkill, but it will be fun. And it will make my project-overseeing professor laugh. And in the end, it’ll be totally worth it.

On a semi-related note, I picked up Defend the Realm, the Authorized History of MI-5 (just for intelligence work in Cold War info, more for my own enjoyment than background material). My god, that thing is a CORNERSTONE. It’s massive, weighs more than my AP Euro History book in high school.

TU: Arrival

Thesis Updates

Thesis research is going well. This is definitely the most fun I’ve had researching a paper. I’m reading books, both fact and fiction, about spies and spy television. I’ve got my next trip to the library planned (Monday!) to pick up a book by John LeCarre and to return Casino Royale. I hope to find a book about Britain and the Cold War, or at least a European perspective on it. That may prove difficult, but I’ll try my best.

Once I finish this viewing of The Prisoner, I plan on watching a few episodes of The Avengers. I picked up a few DVDs from the library. Should keep me busy for a couple of days.

I’m really hoping that I’m able to get Secret Agent AKA Danger Man from one of the out of town libraries. It has been on my watch list since December. I’ve seen a few of the 30 minute episodes and am anxious to see the hour long ones as well. So many of the academic sources I’ve found on The Prisoner discuss Danger Man as well, so I consider it vital viewing. So vital, I may have to buy the series when its rereleased this fall.

The book I’m currently reading, simply entitled Spy Television is fascinating. It has the history of the different shows and some cultural analysis as well. I intended only on reading the intro, conclusion and the chapter on the McGoohan shows, but going from start to finish–I can’t put it down.

And now for something completely different…

General Geekiness

My novel has been temporarily put aside. No, this isn’t because I’ve gotten bored with my research. Quite the opposite. I thoroughly enjoy it.

But sometimes life throws us new opportunities. Jobs, moves, in my case, academics.

You see, I’m writing two theses this next year. In order to keep some sanity, I’m devoting much of my summer to doing the preliminary research for the more intense of the two.

Alas, that means that the RAF have to take a back seat to the swinging ’60s.

My topic, for now very vague, is on individuality and identity as explored in The Prisoner. With all of my research (and yes, this does include watching television), I’m hoping to form a concrete idea so I can re-propose it the first day of fall semester.

I’m very excited by this project. I’ve begun gathering sources and have been viewing The Prisoner for the third time since late November. Chucked in with that is also old school Doctor Who and I’ve just picked up a few episodes of The Avengers from the library, to get a better idea of quirky adventure, sci-fi and spy shows from the era.

I think it’s pretty funny, me abandoning the RAF for the 1960s, considering that my first novel was set in 1969 and I put aside the 1960s for WWII. It’ll be a sick and vicious circle, forever following my adult life.

As for the second thesis, I’m not sure what it entails, apart from connecting to the study of aesthetics.

And I just found out that Secret Agent aka Danger Man is being rereleased on DVD this fall. I’m excited.