The loose ends of my argument are finally coming together. I've also written large chunks of the chapter and I think I might be able to corral them into a solid document quite soon. Finally.
I've got only a few more days here and I'm doing all I can to continue writing and to call up any old books I need to investigate before I leave. It's making me kind of hyper.
I also just e-mailed a Major Important British Scholar, who has done a tiny bit of work on my Material Objects of Study and he a) remembered my critique of a paper he circulated at least 6 years ago at my graduate institution and b) was interested in my project and said he'd love to read more! He also directed me to his latest article on the subject, which just came out, and has helped me even further.
Even more exciting, today I went down to the PRs and finally surveyed the canon of scholarship on one of my Renaissance authors. I was thrilled to learn that there is still very little treatment of this text. More important, a Major Book that examines his work in relation to the sexier of my two Scholarly Territories does not even mention this text. This is a golden elipsis for me! And the other Renaissance author? Not to worry- everyone hates him.
I can feel that this is going to be something big. So much so that I'm having to check my enthusiasm at this point. I want to keep most of what I've found in my research to myself and guard it well, until it's ready for print. This is a new feeling for me, protectiveness of my ideas. I guess it stems from my belief that anyone could make these connections, if they just knew where to look. And the more I read, the more it becomes clear to me that what I am going to say about my genre and my two Scholarly Territories not only needs to be said, but needs to be said now.
Whew! If I smoked, I would definitely reach for a cigarette.