Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Houston, We have a Thesis (Topic, anyway)

For Three Years He Walked the Earth: Intentional Vagrancy Across Continents
An exploration of homelessness and travel in Wordsworth, Thoreau, Melville, Fenimore Cooper, and Kerouac.

And yes, I need a better title.

Maybe, "What would happen if Natty Bumppo met Chris McCandless on a bus somewhere off the Stampede Trail in Alaska?" (Well, for one thing, Sean Penn wouldn't have a movie. But Krakauer would have written a marvelous book.)


Brian T. Murphy said...

big topic. could you narrow to just one of those authors?

susan said...

Well, I have about a year and 100 pages to fill...But yes. It's a big topic.

susan said...

As I think about it some more, I realize that I am interested in the connections between narratives more than I am interested in the one dimensional study of one author. I don't care what one dude had to say if it doesn't connect somewhere to something bigger about what it means to be a human being.

I'm interested in how Wordsworth influenced Thoreau and Cooper who drove Kerouac who drove Jon Krakauer who wrote about what happens when someone puts leather to pavement in a reckless pursuit of a "Thoreauvian" ethic.

I'm interested in what happens when these wanderlusts are put into real action in a real world and how that says something about what it means to be an American in your car on your way to the Grand Canyon.

So, no. Can't be just one author. It's a Big American Ethos that everyone owns.


G. Twilley said...

be sure to post a link here - is it more of a literary study or a sociological one you think?

susan said...

Gene, I really appreciate that you are even interested. I'm working on a website where I'm going to keep a lot of my research. (David got me an iweb account for my birthday!) I'll post the link when I have it working.

I think it will be a literary study, but I guess the boundaries of the humanities are blurry.


Jason Harmon said...

I don't know what the hell anyone is talking about.

But thats ok. On the front of a magazine today I saw, "Dalek Plugs Into Tronic" and I remember thinking ... "I don't think anyone I know knows what the hell that means." But it was old news to me. So I guess that evens things out.

Maybe after 100 pages I would know whats going on.

(and I found out why they have these stupid passwords... one website called it "human verification" so spam bots don't post a bunch of crap on here... also interesting to me that my capacity to correctly type nonsense letters is the only foolproof way that the world wide web validate my humanity)

susan said...

Whatever Harmon, you're so web 2.0.
And I am validating your humanity now, so don't feel bad.