thesis stuff

Epiphany at 1 AM in the morning while struggling through Discovering Modernism by Louis Menand:

“I study T.S. Eliot.” Does it sound pretentious that I decided to work my thesis on one of the hardest poems in the English language? That question is something I struggle with from time to time, especially when trying to explain to others the focus of my study. My interest in Eliot does not stem from an affinity with his ideas about literature. I love digging into his writing, and close reading the text of such unabashedly difficult poems. However, I don’t believe that literature (in general) SHOULD be exclusive, and that the act of reading it and appreciating it should not have to be a scholarly task reserved for the few. That also doesn’t mean that I should hate his literature for the elitist pursuit it really can be, and that I can still love it for the way the words feel on the page.

I think part of it is also a preoccupation with the avant-garde, and the kind of mindset behind that.


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