As I try to account for more in this dissertation proposal, I realize only that ever more is left out. Every sentence I write is an event horizon -- the outer edge of a phenomenon I don't understand and which I can only hope leads to some parallel dimension wherein my ideas actually make sense. Though I suspect it's simply a place of infinite density whereat I'll just be crushed into oblivion or spewed out in the form of a depressive Barnes and Noble employee.
Earlier I likened the proposal in its current manifestation to an octopus with a confidence problem trying to juggle two bowling balls, an anvil, four cats, and a chainsaw.
As I've said, I know there's a there there, but for the moment I'm completely off the edge of the map. It's a very difficult genre to work in, the dissertation proposal. Most of my peers have found it challenging, I think. I have set out to pick apart a truly capacious problem, more out of ignorance than ambition. This is the problem when one starts talking about systems. The whole point of a system is that everything's involved. I am no Isaac Newton, I can tell you that; nevertheless, here I am, trying to invent a calculus that'll explain the universe of print.
Here's a choice sentence: "The nature of futurity as a feature of writing changed with the proliferation of print; under the pressure of amassing knowledge in the form of texts, the division of the ephemeral from the durable constituted part of a broader process of epistemological hierarchization involved in the "progressive" model of history associated with Enlightenment ideology."
It's one of the first, and one of the last I believe in.