Thursday, January 22, 2004

It's just before eight in the morning and I'm trying to get a little schoolwork done before I go to work-school. I just finished a quick scan/read of the Atlas of the New West. I was hoping it would give me some ideas about the Hollywood humor section of my dissertation (at Union , those are called PDEs). William Riebsame, who edited the book, chose to define the new west as the western half of the country, excluding the West Coast. So, it ended up not being that much help. In fact, as happens several times a day now, it made me question the validity, worth, value, etc. of my ideas. But even Riebsame admits that the definition of the west has shifted around over time. He says that at one point it was all the land beyond the Alleghenies. It shifted from there to everything west of the Mississippi . That was my understanding, sort of. But now he defines the interior west as "the old-style frontier" which stretches "from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the crests of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges" (46).

If I were to choose this Interior West region, it would be entirely different humor and literature--but it would follow the rural theme that I chose in the South and the Midwest . I don't see any real definitive humor here, at least any that is distinguishable from just bland, rural humor. So it wouldn't make sense for me to have a chapter here.

Anyway, the only other thing that I really wanted to record from this book was a Candace Bushnell quote comparing regions (from a later chapter). She said: "People blame New York when their relationships don't work out. They think if they just lived someplace else it would be better. But they don't want to go to Iowa . They want to go to Colorado ...It's so beautiful It's like Shangri-La. It's a place to go where people never age" (155). So that book can go back to the library now.

I’m in a sea of books…one on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Humor looks good…and Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space and Yi-Fu Tuan’s Space and Place. The more I read, the more I know I need to read.

It makes me think of someone Diane R. knew in her doctoral program, a woman who when Diane started had already been in the program for ten years. She could never finish because she kept finding ONE MORE THING for her lit review. Aggggggggghhhhhhhhh….