Dissertation Update

Some of you are asking how this is going, so I think talking about the plan openly is a good idea, especially as it helps me get settled.

Right now my goal is to get as much Xenophon read as possible until I hit a saturation point and start writing the first major part in earnest – major themes of the Cyropaedia are to be discussed at that point, with a view to the Memorabilia.

So what I want to do is make sure I review all the Socratic writings of Xenophon while I work through a few secondary sources on the Cyropaedia. Right now I’m working through the Oeconomicus slowly and making notes and it is frustrating: it feels like lots of bits and pieces that would make great blog entry topics, but I’ve read this before and it didn’t come together then and it’s only “sort of” coming together now. I’ve also started Xenophon’s Hellenica, which takes place after Thucydides’ Pelopennesian War, and that’s actually going down quickly – it’s a relief to just read and not have to think about every word.

I think I’m doing a lot, but I’m not sure how it’s all going to come together exactly, and I want to remember it all, not merely stress. I think I might actually have to slow the reading down, now that I write this – the Socratic writings require extra care and review and I’m not thrilled about the notes I have on the Oeconomicus so far (actually, I’m really thrilled with them, but I’m not sure the thesis I’m advancing will hold up as I keep working out details).

You can see the issue with the “I might need to slow down” idea, of course, and understand implicitly why I’m camping out in the library for 5 hours, break, another 5 hours, repeat process. Right now, my head feels numb, and I don’t know what themes I would discuss if I had to talk about my work with any of you.

1 Comment

  1. Good luck mate- and if I can help in any way just chuck me an email! (you know read chapter drafts that kind of thing)

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