No wonder I avoided my revise-and-resubmit in favor of the cc job market and teaching my classes! Returning to it after several months (well, ok, a lot of months) has given me a new clarity of perspective on it. As in, it is blindingly obvious to me that I am stuck, where as before I was merely sure of it.
As always, my difficulty is with organization: I feel I need to put everything first and logically you just can't do that with writing, which is linear, not simultaneous (Derrida's Glas notwithstanding). The readers pointed out that my essay is too bifurcated into a historical background section and a close reading, which is true. It has been almost impossible to interlace the two and have it make sense. But that's not even my problem right now.
I've hit a snag with my ending. To wit, I have three major characters I want to discuss (a love triangle, in fact) and I have no clue which I should discuss first. It's kinda the opposite of my usual problem --- normally I need everything to be first so that it can introduce the other stuff. This time, it doesn't seem to matter which comes first (which hints to me that I haven't actually hit upon my real argument yet, as I usually think of all the steps in an essay being necessarily developing from one to the next, which worries me but doesn't help me get unstuck).
Anywhoo, I just wrote up a short abstract of the essay and a choose-your-own-adventure type breakdown of my ending(s). Anybody who knows me want to take a gander at it and put in a vote on the order? I'm hoping that talking this all out will unstick me.