When taking my comprehensive exams years ago, at one of the many moments when I lost sight of the forest of Chinese literature for the trees of individual pieces of scholarship on it all, my advisor suggested I go back to the sources themselves.
I’m working, very slowly, on a chapter of my dissertation that includes all kinds of things I’m excited about fitting together. The problem, of course, is that I’m so far into the project that I’ve lost sight of where I’m supposed to be going with it.
So I’m going back to the source. Last week when I tried this, I made it to the second page before I got sidetracked onto a what is likely a rabbit trail. I spent two hours comparing fourteen different editions of the text looking at which fake date each edition had used for the settling of its tale. But at least I have a chart now! Maybe it will be useful?