Finishing the PhD & asking for help.

Well, my journey towards my first goal is all but over; having handed in my thesis in February and had my Viva in May (in the UK everyone has to have a Viva), and having passed, I will graduate in July.

It’s been a long and instructive journey, right up to the end. The ‘minor corrections’ I have had to make have shown me how poor my own writing is and that is a shock frankly. I split infinitives with alacrity. I repeat myself. I switch tenses half way through a paragraph. I feel so ashamed.

The good news is that these are minor things, apparently, and my writing and research on Richard Yates’s work went down a storm – so I was told. The first question I was asked in my Viva was what did I now think of Yates’s work, three and a half years after starting the PhD. I had no hesitation in saying that I still pick up Eleven Kinds of Loneliness for pure enjoyment and to remind myself what a great writer I have had the privilege of working with.

So that’s that. A chapter of a life complete and I do feel a sense of achievement though inevitably I wish I could have done it better – fewer split infinitives for one thing! Now, what you may well ask: perhaps I will try to turn it into a book. There should be interest bearing in mind schools and universities are teaching Yates.

This is where you come in. If you are a student (or a teacher) and have been dropping in on my blog, could you let me know what your school is (wherever it is): the name, the place and what you have been studying in the way of Yates. If I need proof he is being taught the more of you that do that the more proof I will have. I won’t publish your responses unless you want me to. I know DeWitt Henry has been teaching Yates at Emerson College in Boston and I know he is being taught at Ipswich School in the UK and at Sherborne School also in the UK but you will agree that that is hardly proof of anything. So please get back to me!

Off to nurse a bad back now but I look forward to hearing from you all………

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5 Responses to “Finishing the PhD & asking for help.”

  1. Hi,

    I came across your blog whilst doing my own research on Yates. I’m writing about him for my undergraduate dissertation. I was wondering if it would all right for me to perhaps contact you with some questions regarding his work (there is so very little secondary material on him!)? Has your phd been published yet?

    Also, in regard to your blog post, I had a seminar on Yates’ ‘Revolutionary Road’ at university, but had never heard about him up til then.

    Thanks alot!

  2. william joyce Says:

    Good to hear you are writing about Yates. He was my first writing teacher at Iowa and I have tried to repay the debt with an essay on his true worth in a book of essays, Miller, Bukowski & Their Enemies.

  3. Hi William Joyce,
    I don’t know why I haven’t come across your book of essays. I honestly thought I’d read everything there was to read about RY but that book totally escaped my notice. It makes me wonder what else I missed. I will try and track down a copy and get back to you once I’ve read it.

    Thank you for getting in touch!

  4. Johng709 Says:

    Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day! gcecdfeedecd

    • kateonyates Says:

      Many thanks! It’s very sleepy on here and that’s due to imminent book publication. I’m currently writing the index and it’s appallingly slow work. It doesn’t help that it’s so hard to differentiate between Yates and his characters…..but the exciting thing is that as of August 30th you will be able to buy (oh go on!) Dismembering the American Dream: the Life and Fiction of Richard Yates.

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