I just had an idea, which I think comes from time spent on Dr. Crazy’s blog.
As I contemplate the return to academia, I was trying to think if there was any topic that I care enough about to spend an entire thesis on it – something which resides within the family of English and comparative studies, relates to both poetry and theater, relates to other languages while still being grounded in English. Something with a relationship to performance without being exclusively about performance. Something more manageable than the history of rhyme in French and English poetry and theater. Something that lets me work on the Greeks without having to learn Greek.
What about some form of translation studies? You could take a given text and do a study of how its various English translations, over time, reflect (or don’t reflect) concurrent trends in poetry, theater, ideas of the time, etc. I guess it’s a kind of reception studies.
Maybe I could do a degree in creative writing somewhere with a 2-part thesis: a scholarly component on translation history of a particular text (ideally a French rhyming drama) and my own version.
I think this would allow me to prove, or disprove some of my favorite chestnuts (if anyone knows why a “chestnut” is called a chestnut in this context, please let me know), things like the ludicrous idea that it’s somehow “easier” to rhyme in French than in English.
I’m kind of into this.