Now that teaching is over and my wrist has healed enough to weight-bear, I have been dragging books out of storage (most of which have been gathering dust for the better part of two years). I am in the process of building my thesis nest to see me through the final gestation period (it’s a little under 9 months until submission, but as Dustin says of the Mind Flayer in Season 2 of Stranger Things, it’s the best analogy I have available…)
The top shelf of my biggest bookcase is dedicated to my two primary texts.
Joyce:McCarthy: I have to admit, though, my little flat is starting to resemble Gould’s (of Newtown fame): When not grading papers, journalling, letter writing, hiking, or researching and writing Joyce and McCarthy-related thesis chapters, I’m currently getting into the Davids: Next up, more Mitchell: Having just taught Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid’s Tale for a unit here at WSU, I have been winding back my online presence due to the dread those texts fill me with about becoming unwittingly complicit in a surveillant society (she says whilst updating the blog… yes, I see the irony in that sentiment). I’ve deactivated my Facebook and Whatsapp and am thinking of getting rid of my Insta as well. I can’t deactivate my Twitter account (though have never used it since opening it in 2011 as I can’t remember my password). The University have created a Linked In account on my behalf (without my permission, I might add), on which they have listed incorrect details, but which I can’t change as I am apparently not the owner of the account. Don’t even get me started – there are so many things wrong with this picture… Even Academia has transitioned from a lovely open source platform for the sharing of amazing ideas to yet another corporate money grab, so while it may be considered shooting myself in the foot, I’m thinking of deactivating that account as well.
I’m keeping the blog alive for now because I feel it’s a forum that people can visit if they wish (being one for choice in all matters), but visitors don’t have to be hit over the head with news feeds and constant status updates. Due to its economy of style, the Hemingway Rewritten theme has a nice feel to it, and I have paid for the domain in order to keep it ad free, so it is less insidious than some other forms of online communication. I also like having a visual diary of my hikes for reference and if I can get my act together, I’ll make it my go-to for keeping a record of completed books (thereby enabling me to deactivate my Goodreads). Goodreads – see, there’s another one! I didn’t realise how much social media I had been drawn in to engaging with.
I think I am suffering from hashtag ennui.
But before I complete the dismantling process, here are a couple of pics of the landscape (within walking distance or a short drive of home), as viewed through the magical-fantastical filters of instagram (Copyright Frances Murphy and Peter Davies for the “magical-fantastical” phrasing)! Images are mine.
And finally, a decade worth of journals – If I end up ditching this whole online thing altogether, I will still have these old friends…
Ok, my landlord’s on his way up to the mountains to mow my lawn (what a legend!) so I’d better go clear the yard in preparation for his immanent arrival.
More from the thesis woman-cave soon!