It’s not that much of it seems outright wrong, either, though. (Except the mice. That situation is definitely wrong, but I’m not willing to put out poison or lethal traps, and humane traps are totally ineffective, so there’s not much I can do other than try to ignore them. Judging by past experience, they’ll quiet down on their own after the young mice grow up and/or get themselves killed.)
I feel like I’m already floundering in my grad school career, even as early as I am in the process. But I don’t see how I can really be in any kind of trouble, academically speaking, this early in the semester. I’ve only had two papers due so far, and we’re given one cumulative grade for the whole semester on the weekly papers, so each individual one isn’t worth all that much. Though it would help if he had remembered to bring the papers last week so I could see what I’ve been doing wrong.
I suppose, ultimately, it’s that I’m just not smart enough. But if I’m not smart enough to get a Master’s Degree, then what am I supposed to do now? I’m such a total loser that I’ve never really had a job, so it’s not like I can say “oh well, back to the job market!” Having never really been in it, it’s impossible simply to go “back” to it. And more importantly, what the heck would I say in a job interview when they ask me why I don’t have any real work history? Trying to be a novelist only goes so far in covering holes in a work history. Especially when you haven’t published anything to show for that time.
Of course, there is the publishing option. But it’s not much of an option, because I’m just as bad at being a writer of fiction as I am at being a grad student, if not worse. I feel confident that my ideas are basically sound. The premises, anyway. I’m not so sure if they stay good after I’ve stretched them out into a novel. That’s the one good thing about my Trojan War novel; the whole story was pre-existing.
Maybe what I really need is a co-author. Someone who’s good at story structure and descriptive text, but not so good with coming up with ideas and/or dialog. Yeah, that would be good. Too bad I don’t have one.
There’s always writing non-fiction, of course. I have three things in mind that I want to write–well, one of them is just a translation job with a lengthy introduction, actually–and two of them would probably be publishable. Rather, I know that a new translation of Quintus Smyrnaeus would be publishable, if Barnes and Noble was willing to re-publish that uninspired 1913 translation. (Admittedly, the poem itself is far from being inspired to begin with, but even so, that translation makes it even less interesting to read. He uses “thee” and “thou” for cryin’ out loud!) As to the history of myths…well, you see things like that on the shelves–or you did, back when Borders was around, with its much more impressive mythology section–but whether or not mine would be published and whether or not anyone would buy it…yeah, I have no idea. Especially what with not having written it yet. I’m not even sure how many myths it would cover. Definitely Medea. And Achilles’ love life. There are various other myths with massive changes, but I’ve been so wrapped up in the Trojan War for the last nine months that it’s hard to remember which ones are best for my thesis. ‘Cause they have to have not just versions, but versions that are clearly chronological–rather than regional–in nature, and preferably tied to historical events/consciousness. So the story of Theseus, for example, probably wouldn’t work, because there most of the variations are probably regional rather than chronological. (In Athens they only say nice things, and everywhere else they say nasty things. Probably. Haven’t actually looked into that one…) And there are too many myths about Heracles to even think about using him. Although I suppose there might be some particular one of his myths that would be a good choice…but I can’t think of any, off-hand. I wonder if that’s because he’s really more of a god than a hero, and thus his myths were spread more evenly–or perhaps simply were spread before the return of writing–and thus have less variation?
I suppose I could stick with the Trojan War and have a chapter about Helen. I could write a whole book just about the many different myths about Helen. Though I’m sure a number of people already have done so….which is exactly why I wasn’t really planning on doing a section on her.
This is all kind of moot at the moment, anyway. Right now I have to focus on my Master’s Degree.
I’ll be talking to the professor before class on Thursday. We’re all supposed to talk to him at some point over the semester so we can work out our final projects for the class. But as far as I can tell, he’s going to tailor them to what we want to specialize in, so the more I have in mind about my intended thesis, the better that meeting will go.
Of the three projects, I know I would enjoy the mythology one the most, but it’s probably too literary for a History degree. The one that would be modified into the introduction (or part of it) of my (future) translation of The Fall of Troy is definitely the most historical, but it would also be the hardest to do, what with the utter lack of information. Depending on what way I take the hero worship concept, it could be very interesting or extremely dry. More importantly, all of the journal articles I’ve found so far on hero worship have been either archaeological or philological. Neither is totally removed from history, but neither actually is history as such, either. I know the university library has a book on hero worship in ancient Greece, but I haven’t looked at it to see if it’s history or archaeology…but I’m betting it’s the latter. Then again, considering I found out about it through the bibliography on an archaeology book, that shouldn’t surprise me. I should look at a book on ancient Greek religion in the history section of the library, and see what it has on hero worship, and what it has in its bibliography. Maybe I’ll do that on Thursday, either before or after I see the professor.
Meh. I’m just thinking in circles now.
I should be working on my paper, anyway…