After moving back to campus two days ago and settling in, I spent the morning of my first work day exploring the stacks of Swem Library to find all the books I could possibly need to begin my research. I had previously searched the online catalogue to get an idea of what materials Swem already had, and had saved all the call numbers I might need.
The result is these 36 books I now have on my desk. I have to admit, at the moment they tower over me a bit dauntingly. I can only hope they do not develop a will of their own and start their own British Empire (the first one did not end well).
Now, my goal is to find the best way to sort through all these readings to find the ones that will be most applicable to my project. I want to make relevant connections between specific stories and specific cultural phenomena, so I will spend the rest of the day identifying key stories within the collections so that I can analyze them in depth. I’ve read Roald Dahl and E.M. Forster stories before, but the rest of the authors I’m looking at are completely new to me, so I’m looking forward to delving into their fictional worlds (if anyone reading this is familiar with 20th century English authors and has short story recommendations, I’d love to hear them, as well as any general research advice you swear by).
My findings are not particularly substantive yet, but I found two pretty cool things today, so I’ll share them here. The first is that I discovered that Ronald Dahl wrote a short story called “William and Mary,” which I will definitely make a priority on my reading list.
The other finding is this cartoon I stumbled upon by Tom Gauld while looking up The Penguin Book of the British Short Story, which I will end this entry on. Good luck to everyone else beginning their projects!