Post 10: Summary of my Summer Work

As the summer comes to a close, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made through my research and I am looking forward to the work on my Honors thesis in my last two semesters at William and Mary. I will be able to incorporate the materials I found in my trip by means of thorough analysis and through tying his unexamined works into the overarching themes I’ve identified in West’s work.

Additionally, the work I did on re-reading West’s writings and reading supplementary materials is going to prove useful in the upcoming semester.

As a recap, here is a rough summary of the key ways the weeks were spent:

A week of research, preparation, contacting archives, and locating materials.

A very busy week of traveling to Harvard, Brown, and Yale. Research at archives.

A week in which I unpacked the materials and research I had done at the archives.

A week in which I re-read Nathanael West’s novels, short stories, letters, etc.

A week in which I read most updated biographies on West; read relevant sections of biographies of William Carlos Williams, S.J. Perelman.

A week in which I watched all films associated/adapted from West’s novels, esp. Day of the Locust.

A week in which I read the most influential book-length studies on West and relevant secondary material.

A week in which I continued to aggregate a list of articles to read (checking American Literary Scholarship and MLA Bibliography.)

A week in which I continued to delve into my materials and organize my notes into something more cogent.

A week in which I reviewed and examined all I have done in addition to editing and adding to my ever-growing collection of notes.

See the last post for additional details about what I accomplished this summer, and read all my posts to see a detailed description of my findings.

I’d like to thank the Charles Center and the donors to my project for making my summer research and travel possible– without their help I would have been much more limited in what I could achieve during these past few months.


  1. Martha Gizaw says:

    Hey there! You made great weekly summaries of your work as a fellow. I had trouble in that area; all I care about is moving forward with honors. Furthermore, I had no idea you were able to travel to three Ivy League universities in one summer; this is amazing! Are Nathanael West’s novels not available at the Swem Library? It looks like you are on track with where your thesis is heading, especially when it places emphasis on your favorite historical author. Good luck!