I have two things to say to you this Sunday:
1) READING SLUMP.
2) MASTER’S THESIS.
At the moment I’m working on a paper for my survey course on the poem “Entrada a la madera/Entrance to wood” by Pablo Neruda. It’s a delightfully odd poem that questions nature and substance and the union of humanity with nature. I love it and wanted to share it with you, but there doesn’t seem to be a decent translation of it online. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to say about it. It’s one of the most argued-over poems in academia. No one really seems to know what Neruda is getting at and I think that’s why I’m drawn to it.
I bring this up because whenever I write one of these papers I get to thinking about my Master’s thesis. We have to decide on a topic NEXT SEMESTER. Which is equal parts terrifying and exciting. So I thought I would ask you! Many of you are familiar with Latin American fiction and poetry and I’d like to bounce around some ideas.
- 2666. YEAAAAAAAAAH. I’m seriously thinking about this one. It would be a MAJOR project. I’d have to read the book in Spanish (help, Richard!) and I would most likely have to focus on one very small aspect of the book, because my thesis is a minimum of 60 pages. I don’t know if there’s a maximum, but I’d like to be realistic!
- Virgin Mary poetry. This is inspired by a class I took on the Virgin of Guadalupe and about her transformation from religious symbol to a symbol of rebellion and finally of Mexican identity. It’s a really fascinating topic and I know that I would enjoy doing the research.
- Neruda. I love Neruda. He’s why I began studying Spanish in the first place. He’s also one of the more studied poets.
- Elena Poniatowska. She’s just such an interesting woman and everything I’ve read of hers I’ve loved. It would be great to explore her work more.
- Gabriela Mistral. She was the first Latin American to win the Nobel prize and I really like her work. Plus, she just looks like a no-nonsense kind of woman:
She was also bffs with Neruda.
Do you have any suggestions? This is just what I’m thinking about now. 2666 would be so much fun, and also somewhat unconventional as it was just published. Mistral and Neruda are safe choices. Virgin Mary poetry is something that I’m interested, but it would also involve a lot of reading across many centuries to get a good scope of what I’m dealing with. I’m sure I’ll come up with some more topics over the next few weeks. Christmas break is going to be spent reading and deciding on a topic.