After just under three and a half years I have finally completed Chapter One of my dissertation. A minor victory.
I have finally reached a point with my argument that I will defend until I am blue in the face, yet I will change as soon as someone proves me wrong. That is my definition of a worthy piece of writing, and what I have been trying to write for three years.
It is a 23,000 word work of little sleep, constructed from 12,000 or so words of my 70,000 words worth of previous versions of Chapter One combined with 3,500 words of work already written from the latest current version I had started. When did I start? Tuesday evening after a supervisory meeting on Tuesday afternoon where I was told: ‘unsupervisable’. I had until Friday. (Ok, so technically it is Saturday morning, but I haven’t slept yet.)
When I worked on the mine site we would tell each other to ‘Kill the pig’. The context in which this merry slogan was used was like a heroic masculine, working class version of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ (the machinic, neoliberal version). We would say it to workmates if they appeared to be lethargic or unmotivated. I am not sure if it was a reference to Lord of the Flies or not, I doubt it. Regardless, the last 84 hours have been one long glorious orgy of pig killing.
Do I need some sleep?
My favourite bit is where I combine Massumi’s political economy of belonging with Foucault’s ‘commentary’ via a ‘diagram’ of Levy and the ‘event’. I hope it makes the final edit. Along the way I get theory ‘assists’ from D&G, Adorno, D&G, more Massumi, Wolfe, Weber, Foucault, Levy, others…
The rest of my chapters are not so spectacularly theory headed. Magazines and fieldwork. Plus all the empirical work is done and by and large already written up.
Do I let up? How fast can I write this thing?
You’d better believe I like finding out how fast things go…