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The pursuit

September 22, 2011

For the biggest part of the past two weeks, I have been flânering through the literature on the flâneur. In late August, writing on the concept of the flâneur seemed like a good (i.e. easy) way of producing a 4.000 word chapter for an edited volume.

But that was before I decided to check up some quotes and make a quick overview of some of the texts I have left aside in the past. Pretty soon, the quick check turned into a stubborn pursuit of the elusive phenomena across the printed pages and pdf files, which revealed the all too familiar phases of initial enthusiasm (search for new literature), followed by frustration and later on, by despair caused by (1) checking the newly acquired texts, and (2) wondering what other important texts I have missed. A mix of anger over the crap some journals publish, and fascination with multilayered and in-depth analysis in others, resulting as usual (for me), in a brief period of questioning my ability to integrate all this information. Than came the questioning the point of the whole enterprise. Theories of creativity used to label this as “incubation phase”.

Than came the impatience, the urge to start, looking for a slot of time that would not be punctuated by the everyday errands. Or meetings. Or commute. Today, the final stage. Cleaning of the desk.  Organising the material (i.e. spreading the books and prints all over the desk). Making a cup of coffee. Going over the key texts one more time, making notes. Making another cup of coffee. Tuning in to Soma FM. Writing this post (also known as procrastination. Making another cup of coffee (also known as procrastination, though I prefer calling it a ritual).

I have to press the “publish” button now.  I’m two days behind the deadline. But I’m also the main editor, so I can afford to be :)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2011 7:11 am

    I would never say that strolling is procrastination, but rather a way to gather enough information to reach some level of understanding of one’s environment.

  2. October 1, 2011 1:33 am

    True, but I was strolling through the literature when I already had enough information to write the damn thing. True, the nex texts provided valuable new informatrion, but continuing with the reading became at one point a way of postponing thew writing phase. Hence procrastination.

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