Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Library

Brown 1

Mason Brown

Professor Spohn

Response/Process Paper 5

Writing Seminar II sec. D


The Library

I have never been in a university library before. Or rather, I have never been in such a library and had access to its sacred shelves; its mysterious vaults of knowledge. I found the experience to be simultaneously thrilling and overwhelming: giddily roaming the stacks, clutching my bibliography like a drunk with his car keys, I was lost in a world of wonder.

I managed to find several items on my list: “Music of the Common Tongue”, by Christopher Small, a study of the African contribution to American music; “Singing the Master”, by Roger D, Abrahams, about early African-American culture; and a very interesting study of the “Iconography of Music in African-American Culture”, called “Images”, by Eileen Southern and Josephine Wright. I also tried my hand at searching the article databases and turned up three musicological papers that I think will help me: “American Fiddle Tunes and the Historic-Geographic Method”, by Chris Goertzen; “George P. Knauff's Virginia Reels and Fiddling in the Antebellum South”, by Goertzen with Alan Jabbour; and “Black Musicians in Appalachia: An Introduction to Affrilachian Music”, by Fred J. Hay.

Now I feel that I am adrift on a great sea of information: the tiny raft of my thesis being beaten apart by factual whitecaps, born on a heavy swell of data. I hear the surf breaking on a lee-shore of irrelevance. Should I abandon my fragile craft and swim for it? I try to make peace with my God and prepare for death.


  1. I say swim for it lad but watch ye well, for the rocks and shoals of your preconceptions...

  2. A trip to the library leads to preparing for Death. This is either Zazen or grad school.

  3. Spoken like an old sea-dog, Daddy!