Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 24 dissertation notes (Week 5)

This week I'm tired and unfocused. Part of this, I suspect, is because we've been slightly off our usual routine lately, with Kevin having maybe the craziest on-call weekend he's ever had, followed by out-of-town training. (All of which he's handled admirably, I should note.) I also might still be recovering from some of the stress of last week. Regardless of the cause, energy and mental clarity have been escaping me.

At last week's meeting, my advisor suggested that, as a mental exercise, I should think about what a pagan contemporary of Gregory's would have written about what is involved in delivering a persuasive speech, and then think about what Gregory himself would say, and not say, about giving a Christian sermon -- the point being that this will get me thinking about the differences between them, and thus help me refine what I am arguing about Gregory's understanding of preaching within his context. This is actually one of the more helpful suggestions I've received. In beginning to tackle it this week, I've felt rather daunted, because the topic of classical Greco-Roman rhetoric is huge and easy to get bogged down in. (Not to mention, not really my area.) But I suspect I'm making it too hard for myself by trying to locate a perfect fourth century example of rhetorical theory. If really pressed, I could probably list some of the distinctions off the top of my head. (I have trouble trusting myself to know things off the top of my head.) So maybe next week I should start there, then look to other sources as needed. Then, hopefully, it will still be possible to submit some clearer ideas to my advisor by the end of next week.

Right now, I mostly feel like reading Kristen Lavransdatter for the third time. Because what, I ask you, is a better escape than medieval Norwegian historical epic?

1 comment:

  1. WILKENS!!!!!

    If I have time, I might try to finish KLD this week so we can talk 'bout it then. :)