Or at least suffer a painful disembowelment. When all the thesis chapters were laid out yesterday, and my supervisor and I went through them slowly, we decided (reluctantly) that chapter two (the most painful of the chapters in terms of writing stress) needs 10 or so pages or so removed. So this afternoon’s job is to eviscerate ~4000 words on the history of AI (which is very interesting, but not essential to the thrust of the chapter in light of later chapters) and replace it with 400-500 well chosen words. (These are different from the other well chosen words I thought when the need for the surgery became clear.)
(This is, indeed, the Don Brash school of thesis editing – “gone by lunchtime”)
Ah, chapter two. The bane of my existence for the past year. All the other chapters combined have not delivered the grief that this one did. A classmate of mine back at uni in Christchurch once cleverly adapted Keats’ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” to “Le Professeur Sans Merci”. I’m contemplating “Le Chapter San Merci” as a sequel.
On a brighter side, the rest of the thesis looks good, with only a few minor changes to make (I’ve heard that before though). Not only that, but the thesis structure and content now has a nice literary structure, with the chapters forming nice structure of inclusio(s) (and possibly even a chiastic structure, if you look at it in the right light).