Thursday, 21 July 2011


My dramatically-titled blog post is a little in jest.. but at the same time, my PhD is driving me utterly insane. My motivation levels are at level zero because for the past three weeks I have done nothing but read, revise, write, re-write, plan and re-plan over and over again. As a result of being asked to re-work my chapter in order to pass through to second year, my brain has decided to embrace apathy, fear and stupidity!

I am a very quick writer, the type of person who can knock out 3,000 words in one sitting and then spend two or three days editing what I've written. But ever since the horrible Viva experience I have been almost afraid to write anything. Again, typically I am not the kind of person that gets unnerved easily but I am definitely struggling at this point in time!

Shakespeare said that "things done well and with a care, exempt themselves from fear", so that is my main hope at the moment. That the planning and re-writing will all magically fall into place at some stage soon and all will be well. In the midst of this writing, I've also booked my trip to Smith College which is exciting, but I cannot allow myself to enjoy the thought of going to Smith until I have this chapter completed and more importantly, passed. I miss Sylvia - what I'm writing at the moment is the hypothesis by which I will interpret her work. I haven't looked at her poems in days. Since when did English Literature become more about theories and secondary readings, rather than the actual texts?

So, please keep your fingers crossed that I can hang onto whatever small amount of motivation I currently have. I've bascially decamped to Belfast to use the McClay library at Queen's. It's a good library but more importantly it's very quiet (so no-one can hear my screams!). Literally the only treat ahead for me will be going to see Prince live next weekend in Dublin. My best friend is a huge fan of The Purple One and we're going to spray our hair purple, wear glittery leotards and load up on Starfish and Coffee! It's going to be a brilliant night and a welcome distraction from my current headspace.

I'll check back in again soon with more updates on how I'm getting on. Hopefully things will be much brighter in a fortnight or so. It will be good to get back to poetry and Sylvia, after the swampy waters of theory! :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Plath Profiles #4

The wonderful new issue of "Plath Profiles" has just been published online. This issue features academic and student essays, poetry and photographs relating to Sylvia Plath and is definitely a worthwhile read.

I have an essay published in the current issue also, so be sure to check it out and let me know what you think! There's a great essay by the brilliant Irish scholar, Gerald Dawe entitled "Sylvia Plath in Belfast" which I also enjoyed reading. I love it when people connect Plath to Ireland :)

Please click here to visit Plath Profiles.
(The image in this post is the cover picture from the current issue of Plath Profiles, by Kristina Zimbakova.)