Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rewriting the hypothesis...

Today I'm one year, four months, and two weeks, exactly, into this PhD. I just rewrote my hypothesis.

When I first applied to do this PhD, I proposed that flash fiction has as much literary weight as short stories, novellas and novels. As it turned out, the concept of 'literary weight' was somewhat problematic. It was a bit like the 'how long is a piece of string?' problem. 'Weight' is quite an arbitrary measurement.

So, I kind of let go of the hypothesis and just starting researching the history and definition of flash fiction, coming to the conclusion that while there isn't a lot of writing about flash fiction in academe, there is already more than enough writing aimed at defining flash fiction, and the only thing I would add to that writing might be a push to use flash fiction as an umbrella term to round up the lexical variant whichs populate the general definition of very short fiction.

I went on a bit of a trek into concepts of narrative identity and narrative lives, as well as realising that my attraction to flash fiction probably stems from my familiarity with Icelandic smásaga and the similarities between the two practices.

This morning I realised that all along I've been maintaining the same position; that is, while I'm interested in what flash fiction IS, I'm far more interested in what flash fiction can DO. I'm all about that action, peeps.

Why is flash a relevant form of writing. What can it do that other forms of writing cannot do as well as flash.

And this is where, at fourteen and a half months into my thesis, I find myself rewriting my hypothesis.

I heard this can happen. I've heard this happens a lot. Now it has happened to me.

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Good Job!