Close, but no cigar

As the end of November approaches, I have managed to write 50,000 words during this month… of which approximately 20,000 have been used for NaNoWriMo.

The rest has been distributed among essays, thesis, notes and random ramblings of no particular concern (™).

I feel a bit as if I have betrayed myself with the best intentions and don’t know whether I should be angry or pat myself on the shoulder. A bit of both, I guess. Be that as it may, I shall continue working on my mini-draft and see whether I can manage to reach 50,000 words and beyond.

Writing can be a very jealous affair, I’ve realised. Every word you put down for your thesis is missing from your creative writing, and it is only a matter of time and sanity until they start stealing from each other…

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Still here (and there)

Just a quick sign of life because there is a lot going on at the moment. In no particular order:

– Perhaps the biggest time-consumer right now: Run-throughs of our theatre production of Albert Camus’ State of Siege at the English seminar. Tonight we have the main rehearsal with tech and lights and everything. I’m still trying to get used to eyeliner although applying it is really fun. So is yelling dictatorial announcements from a balcony and feeling threatened by officials. Premiere is this Saturday, so if you remember, keep your fingers crossed at 7pm GMT!

– I am rereading a few of my old seminar papers to check for any parts worthy for publication. Especially my 2008 paper about Frankenstein still seems to be quite sensible…

– The final sessions of my tutorial are coming up and so far, they can be coordinated nicely with the theatre production. We are going to watch Hogfather on 16th December as part of our seminar Christmas Movie Night, and I am somewhat hoping for a very tall and thin Father Christmas speaking in SMALL CAPS to drop by for some punch and cookies.

– And I have nearly finished my paper proposal for the Zurich conference. More on that once I’ve sent it in.

Not to speak of preparations for Christmas and pre-Christmas…

Drafted

Oh dear oh dear… there is a call for papers on visuality and intermediacy in literature at Zurich University… deadline is 28th November, and I’m thinking about submitting something in the direction of the paper I am planning.

That would mean there are 38 days left to send in a decent draft. The conference is on January 30th/31st, so that would technically leave me time enough to actually write the paper. Sounds doable.

Hmmm. I’m not sure whether I should use my plans for an essay on fantastic architecture for that. I’ve been carrying around the thought for quite some time now, but I feel like it’s meant for something else.

Maybe I’ll try to come up with something about intermediacy in the Discworld franchise.

Or I could be really sneaky and recycle parts of my MA thesis about Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast books.

Again, I’ll keep you (and myself) updated about this adventure…

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To be published!

Well, those were short 4 to 6 months. I have received an e-mail from Mythlore yesterday stating that they are going to publish my essay on Pratchett and Tolkien! This trip to the US has just become even sweeter in retrospect…

I will keep you updated about when exactly the essay is going to appear in Mythlore journal.

Oh, and the presentation yesterday also went well. It was rather weird talking in German about what I normally work on in English, but professors and students seemed to like it. Now to start with plans for my next essay on fantastic architecture (I hope my two semesters of art history will be sufficient to tackle the topic) and write, write, write…

Under construction

Hello all. Back from the Bernese countryside. I’m feeling a bit knackered today – theatre camp was great but rather demanding.

Nevertheless, good news! I have managed to finish editing my essay on Pratchett and Tolkien and sent it off to the Mythopoetic Society. Gods of Quills and Ink willing, it is going to be published in the Mythlore journal!

Now onwards to preparing a presentation and tomorrow’s tutorial session… a more informative and possibly even academic post is coming soon…

Quoted by myself

Looks like I have gained two followers on Tumblr while I have lost two on Twitter. Welcome!

In any case, I have begun preparing my conference presentation and feel like I’m cheating on and with myself – basically, I am taking the best bits of my essay and garnishing them with powerpoint slides. For those who are interested, here is the abstract, which I might have posted before due to academic amnesia:

More than just a set of parodies, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are a continuing examination of the nature of fantasy fiction. The development of the Discworld from a mere background to a fully-fledged secondary world both reflects and challenges the Tolkienian ideal of sub-creation. Pratchett does not simply parody the genre in the vein of Bored of the Rings or Barry Trotter but takes inspiration from fantasy and its roots as well as other strands of literature to turn them into an amalgam of his own creation. In doing so, he questions the clichés and established tropes of the genre and fiction in general, be it by casting secondary characters as main protagonists or by exploring Tolkien’s influence from unusual perspectives. Beneath the prevalent jokes and puns that make up a Discworld novel lies a serious debate about genre, reader expectations and human nature. As a “world and mirror of worlds”, the Discworld continues to shed new light on topics ranging from magic and power to literary theory and narratology.

I have entered my essay for the best student paper competition at Mythcon, so keep your fingers crossed! And do you have any ideas for an easy fantasy-themed costume? Apparently there is going to be a why-not-dress-yourself-up-as-an-Uruk-hai party one night…