The Ramonat Seminar: Defeat

My experience receiving feedback on the first draft was smooth enough but, actually implementing said feedback has been a challenge. I’m overwhelmed as the semester draws to a close, as other assignments pile up with this paper still looming in the distance. Similar to Saint Sebastian as he was portrayed in Revolt of the Slaves (1960), pictured above, my Professor’s comments felt like I was going toe to toe with a formidable foe! The sense of apathy I’m feeling towards my paper is probably why it was so difficult to go back and revise. Nevertheless, I buckled down and hammered out a second draft and will undergo the process yet again very soon.

One of the biggest areas of struggle for me was revising the unfinished sections, namely Fabiola’s Legacy Through Text (combining the novels and plays surrounding Wiseman’s novel), and Fabiola’s Legacy Through Film (I just finished the last movie Fabiola; or, The Fighting Gladiator (1949) a week ago as I needed the version with English subtitles). Compared to the rest of my revision process, which was more or less just grammatical and clarification issues, these two sections gave me the most trouble for two main reasons: I feel like I’m not doing them justice, and I don’t have the language to talk about some elements.

For the text portion, with Fabiola itself clocking in at 600+ pages, I simply didn’t have the time to do any significant literary analysis of Callista, Hypatia, Two Plays, and Fabiola’s Sisters as well. While that’s obviously not expected as my focus is on the original text, I feel as though anyone reading through will have a lot of questions I can’t fit into the paper. Having already cut some text such as outside reviews, and a retelling, I’m starting to think I should have done the paper on Fabiola and (maybe) one other text, so I could more accurately capture what’s going on. The movie section is outside of my realm altogether. While I’m an avid movie buff, I don’t have any academic language to discuss these films without it coming down to “here’s a picture and this is what happened.” Even discussing something as simple as the choice of actress, the musical score, or the historical context surrounding a film could be papers in of themselves.

Another issue my Professor brought to my attention is the lack of secondary sources I have to back up, or and clarify some statements I make. For all the notes I took on the original text itself, I don’t feel like I did my best in that area either. Overall, if I were to take on something like this paper again, I’d stick to what I know best (literary analysis) and something like one other primary source. Trying to tackle such different formats all at once was a little much as a sophomore who’s never written this much or and so formally.

Despite these worries, I still know everything will be okay. I just have to buckle down with the rest of my assignments and do my very best till the final version is out of my hands. Now it’s time to rebuild! Hopefully, when I post my last blog assignment, my paper can be something I’m proud of rather than a source of anxiety and regret.

ROtS_7

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The Ramonat Seminar: Catholic Fiction in the 19th Century

Hello everyone! I hope your new year was wonderful, and your holidays festive. You can view a full outline of what I and my cohort will be doing for the Ramonat Seminar this semester here.

Now, I come to the purpose of this blog post. Since reading a book entitled Faithful Passages: American Catholicism in Literary Culture, 1844–1931 by James Emmett Ryan (containing Catholic authors such as Jedediah (or Jedidiah) Vincent Huntington, Anna Hanson Dorsey & Mary Anne Sadlier), I’ve been really hooked on the idea of Catholic lit. Seeing as I’m a writer and am going to school so that I can write full time in the future, it’s no surprise this topic interests me so much! I’m a big fan of typography and book cover design, so used one version for Flowers of Love and Memory found below for the header image.

That all said, I’ve decided to study Catholic fiction literature, roughly around the time period spanning 1850 to 1890. I have not decided if I will do a selection of novels (which I’m leaning towards but would limit how many I can realistically read and analysis fully), or a combination of short stories and poetry (which I have found some examples of already). But, this broadly defined research topic brings up many questions still.

 

Flowers of Love and Memory

By: Mrs. Anna H. Dorsey

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