Love your research

Posted by September Blue Friday, 27 April 2007

I'm falling in love with an author. Not in the standard (well, standard for me) crush-on-a-long-dead-poet way, but through the kind of accidental romance that starts with a footnote and ends in chasing publishers down the street, out of breath and scattering pages behind you ("waaaaaaaaait, Mr Penguin!"), as you try to explain how Very, Very Important it is that they contract you to edit a new scholarly edition of her best-known work.

She's one of those Victorian writers who flourished for a little while and then faded back into obscurity again, and she's part of a big enough crowd in that. Still, she's worth a revival. Her writing probably won't be the Next Big Thing in Victorian studies, but it's interesting and unusual and funnier than it has a right to be, and more people should read her. Some people should read her. Anybody should read her. And if they're not reading her, they should start selling her books at prices I can afford.

She's gone from a few footnotes in my thesis to taking up most of one chapter, and she's worked her way into every conference paper I've given in the last year. I had to fight my better judgement on including an irrelevant, biographical footnote on her in an article I'm writing at the moment. My long-term research plan features her heavily, I'm already mentally drafting the next article (in which she'll feature prominently), and I'm about three weeks away from printing 'Obscure Victorian Writers ROCK!' T-shirts and setting up a campaign to raise awareness. (Would Bono help, do you think?)

Everyone needs a champion, even if the best you can get is a completely non-influential one living a hundred and fifty years too late.

1 Responses to Love your research

  1. Laz Says:
  2. I'm in love with McKay from Atlantis so I completely empathise with you. Although I haven't yet started to include him in papers,(but only because I don't write any anymore) I do find myself frequently mentioning all his hilarious lines and put-downs in conversations with people who don't watch the show and really couldn't give a toss.

    "I consider medicine to be as much of a science as... ooh... voodoo."

    "I'm sorry. It's just... I react to certain doom in a certain way. It's a bad habit."

    "I just prefer hypoxia to explosive decompression. It’s a personal thing."

    I won't go on. Next time I see you I'll just give you a copy of Season 1. You can have Shepard, or even Beckett. But McKay is mine.