Monday, March 17, 2008

Nothing new under the sun

Today is Spring Break and Saint Patrick's Day for the rest of humanity, but is 19th-century-French-Jews day for me. No green beer, just iced coffee from the café near the library. Which is fine, but the research is tough going. It seems impossible to write about mid-19th-century French-Jewish converts to Catholicism without mentioning the more-famous non-French cases. It also seems near-impossible to write anything down without finding that someone's already written it. No one, far as I can tell, is making quite the same arguments, but inevitably primary sources lead to exciting discoveries... already made in some article from 2005. OK, not inevitably, but more than would be convenient. I don't want to get overly bogged down reading every last thing on JSTOR and want to get moving on the primary sources, but I want to be sure I'm focusing on something new, and not surprisingly, the interesting angles are often the ones someone else has already covered. Also, it's getting harder and harder to synthesize everything I've read and taken notes on (or, worse, read a while ago and not taken notes on) into something coherent, since by now I've read a whole lot on this subject, all of which seems to matter but cannot possibly matter for one term paper.

So it continues...

3 comments:

Withywindle said...

"From Jew to Catholic in Nineteenth-Century France: Notes on Historiography, as Prologue to a New Paradigm"

Phoebe said...

Nice title, but I've already gotten enough into the primary sources that that's no longer an option.

Withywindle said...

"Marianne, nee Miriam; From Jew to Catholic in Nineteenth-Century France; The New Paradigm"