Today is a bit better. The chapter is also a bit better --- except for the spots that I had fixed and then discovered a big pile of notes on recent scholarship I made before flying out here and that I have just now dumped back in and bolded. Le Sigh. One step forward, three steps backward, roll on the ground in misery. That's my process!
The real trouble will be looking at the final subsection, which I keep glancing at and going, why is this pointless boring shit here in the chapter again? I know it has a point, but it is not coming out clearly, and this idea is so old to me I am tired of it. Clearly I cannot deal with it while crampy and lacking sleep.
So instead I am cleaning up my prose back near the beginning and waging war against my own grad-student-ness. Seriously, what was my obsession with sarcastic scare quotes? They are everywhere, littering my chapter --- really only this first, lumpy, apprentice chapter --- with their sarcasm and explanatory shortcuts. But in a lot of cases, I don't want to simply remove the scare quotes and let the words stand --- like "good behavior" and "nobility" and "purity" --- well, maybe purity would still work there --- so I have to rewrite each damn sentence. And I keep finding more of them! Stupid scare quote compulsion! I don't "hate" you, scare quotes, I hate you! With no irony at all! I send all my extra quote marks to the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks to rot where they belong.
Grumble grumble grumble "reality" in quote marks, my ass. What was I even trying to say there? I need to get me a sharpener to fix up all those dulled, pointless words. "Words," even.