I'm working on another paper right now.
OK, you're right. I'm NOT writing a paper. I'm writing about writing a paper. And I'm thinking about writing the paper. It's progress, I tell you. I started this assignment with an attitude that was even worse (that scarcely seems possible) than I had for the last paper. Despite my worry, though, I did very well on that paper. I rewrote it one more time before I submitted it (at the very last minute), and it was much improved. So right now, I only dislike this class. Last week, I hated it with searing fiery heat.
On to a new school of critical theory. Now it's New Historicism, as applied to Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson. (I have to look at the book cover every time I type the word "pudd'nhead" to see where the apostrophe goes. And do you know why? Because it should have TWO apostrophes; one to replace the missing "I" and the other to replace the missing "G".) This is an interesting book. I've read it twice (it's short) and I've made any number of interpretations of what I think were Mark Twain's intentions. But this is a short paper. I need to narrow it down.
New Historicism, as the name implies, involves historical research about the time period in which the book was written, or the period in which it was set, or the author's life and political ideas. My research is focusing on the 1890s, as the book was published in 1893. And you know what? I love the Gilded Age. Standard Oil! Muckrakers! Robber Barons! Ida Tarbell! The wretched refuse of the world's teeming shores landing on the brand-new Ellis Island! I could read about this stuff all day. I still have only a rather murky idea of how I'll connect the novel with the events of the time, but a good time is being had by me. If I could get credit for vague, undirected research, and for writing ABOUT papers, my 4.0 would be completely safe.