It is all gone quiet in my seduction world. I have been battling with issues of enjoyment, of desire; trying to understand where, if anywhere, the paths of seduction, perversion and fetishism cross; deciding what the picture frame and the frame of fantasy have in common; finding the key to the Lacanian universe; attempting to comprehend the limits between subjective and objective; listening to what the objects I have been creating have to tell me and how they challenge theories I have been reading aboutÄ¶ All this, however, doesnÄôt make me feel I am any nearer to finding out why and how objects seduce.
But I am taking the wrong approach, arenÄôt I? I have finally realised that this (writing, blogging) is precisely what I should be doing. Let me tell you about my epiphany. I was watching Alan YentobÄôs TV programme Imagine, which discussed the meaning of the internet in the context of cultural production, when something clicked. I tuned in mainly because my friends Pickwick and Dickon were to make an appearance in it. They are both talented bloggers, writers who have embraced new technologies and new ways of telling stories, of seeing and referring to the world. In DickonÄôs journal, choosing a tie may be a matter of life and death. But Dickon and Pickwick did not get there in day or two. Dickon has been blogging since 1997, when this thing we are doing did not even have a name. His archive of events and thoughts is a testimony to what it is like to live in London in the 20th/21st Centuries. As such, it can also be contrasted with other accounts more or less amusing and well written. Dickon is building his socio-historico-anthropological account little by little, with a rendez-vous or a record release here, a TV appearance or a bad day there.
Now, this is how the epiphany took place: what I realised is that I want it all now. But the PhD is a 5 to 7 year process, one that will be arrived at by the day-to-day accumulation of experiments, data, thoughts, readings, conversations, objects, responses. Knowing about how fantasies relate to desire will not answer my research question; DickonÄôs description of his suit on the 3 of August does not constitute social testimony. One has to be patient (How many times have I talked about commitment here?). One has to be systematic. Oh but donÄôt get me wrong, I am not talking about forgetting the aim of my quest; it needs to be there permanently, I need to think about it with every decision I make. As Malcolm said to me, a PhD is not a sprint. ItÄôs a marathon. The aim, the distance to be ran is there. I cannot write a formulaic short story. You see? This PhD is really more like blogging. Every day a little step. A step about the minutiae of doing research, of thinking about desire, of being seduced, of finding something contradictory. In short, a process, rather than an output; answering rather than an answer. The latter will come, if it has to.
A PhD is a marathon and, with my PhD confirmation looming, I am just at the second water point.