Hey y’all. Tomorrow morning I start four months of nonstop chemo, which is sure to be a living hell. I don’t know how I’m going to react to the new chemo drugs, but if how I reacted to the first one was any indication, I’ll be like a landed fish flopping around on the couch and whining nonstop for 16 weeks, so that will be fun. On the bright side, they don’t think I’m going to die, so that’s nice. Surgery went fine, and I had a CT scan last week that suggested it hasn’t spread anywhere, so.
I was hoping to get further into Umineko before now, but unfortunately recovering from surgery was a lot more crappy than I thought. Anyway, since I haven’t done that which sucks, I thought I’d share what I was actually able to do, which was my term paper for my independent research project this semester. My proposal was a study of contemporary (defined by me as post-1970 in my proposal, though in practice it’s really post-1980) popular women’s detective fiction. It was mostly borne of curiosity — after 1970 or so, detective fiction rather suddenly becomes completely female dominated. In what I’m sure is a complete and utter coincidence, scholarly study of the genre also basically stops then, petering out with the hardboiled era. So I thought it’d be good for me to look at where the genre has ended up and how it got here. Like all popular fiction aimed at women, the genre has gotten a reputation as being unliterary, low-hanging-fruit. I wanted to really push up against that belief in myself.
What I absolutely did not expect was to read like 25 books about rape culture. I read about so much fucking rape this semester. It was really emotionally draining, as was writing my paper about it. I did the most depressing research I’ve ever done, and found that I could only write it in like 2-page increments before I kind of wanted to blow the world up and needed to go like, playing kids’ video games for two days to work up my resolve again. (Or, as Mr. Act put it, “I think you’ve earned the right to write about teletubbies or something next semester.”)
Anyway that’s all a long way of saying I had to do this and now I’m bringing it to you because I deserve to have someone else have to know all the shit I now know.
I also thought more generally that it might interest some of you since you’re all weirdly interested in what I have to say anyway, to which end I’m also linking my spring term paper about the way the modernist era used the label ‘middlebrow’ to marginalize women’s writing. The research I did for that one has actually been really helpful in thinking about some of the books Farla’s done here, so even if you’re not willing to subject yourself to 23 pages of someone talking about rape (which, HUGE FUCKING TW ON THIS), you might be interested in this one.
I’ll also say that the whole opening section to the rape paper is kind of a mess. I rewrote it a bunch of times and at this point I’m just so exhausted with this damned paper that I’ve kind of said fuck it and I’m hoping the more focused analysis and conclusion sections can hold it together. It’s not my best work. The middlebrow paper is much better, IMO.
Anyway. Hope you’re all well. If there’s some kind of book emergency and anyone needs to contact me, please do so through Mr. Act instead. You can reach him at mr.act(at)dragon-quill.net.
Much love, and happy holidays.
Fall 2018 IS Final Paper (The Rape One)
Spring 2018 602 Final Paper