Welcome. My name is Epr James and last year I graduated from University College Cork having completed a Bachelor of arts degree in English and Politics. I now embark on a taught Masters degree in English, focusing on Irish writing and Film: Theories and Traditions.
This notebook aims to act as a record of the literary, ideological, theoretical, and other potential challenges I will, no doubt, encounter on my research exploration. At this moment I have no clear idea what my thesis will be about. The landscapes of nationalism, Catholicism/religion, politics, and gender, within the context of Irish writing and film, are areas that arouse particular interest. That is all I have at the moment. In the words of Seamus Heaney, “Between my finger and my thumb/ The squat pen rests; snug as a gun” (1) as I embark on some literary digging. So what I may uncover awaits.
I am reminded of gardening in April; turning the sod, hoping plants take root, and that no inherent weakness will cause failure. There are also factors outside my control, heat, wind, and rain. Will there be too much or too little? Birds, insects and other creatures, what role will they play? Will the thrush return to dine on the snails? Will the plants flourish? Can I rise to the challenge a new year brings? One thing is certain last years success is no guarantee of this year’s success. So will I flourish or fail or land somewhere in between?
Hopes and anxieties are present. The hope, anticipation, and excited curiosity of exploring pastures new; the possibility of mining a seam of buried treasure, discovering shiny, sparkly, even dazzling gems. Maybe striking a well of inspiration or unearthing the thing that sets the senses buzzing. But I must avoid falling down the rabbit holes. I wonder what or whose trenches I will want to populate, which silos will I find comfort in? As I dig, dig, dig. Fingers crossed I avoid digging my own grave and ending up being buried in it! My wellies are at the ready.
Heaney, Seamus. New Selected Poems 1966-1987. London: Faber and Faber, 1988. Print.