I think my review of Menial is the most I've ever drafted anything. It went through at least a half a dozen, all of which were effectively first drafts. I had a really hard time deciding on an argument, some of which is probably still recognizable in the finished product. I think it ended up in a good place; I really did want to highlight the work of the construction of the anthology, and how that played into the idea of political economy. I tend to be less interested, personally, in doing the close textual analysis bits, since I find them mostly unhelpful personally, but I know the opposite is the case for a lot of people and I'm pretty good at it, when I want to be, so I did it.
I don't know if I should try to produce another argument, so I'm going to try to talk about process a little. One of my early drafts, I think, was basically just a couple thousand word riff on this sentence:
The flashback [in "Didibug Pin"] takes a slightly Proustian form, an unbidden and irresistible flood of memory triggered by a simple object; unlike Proust's narrator, however, Lize is swept into this memory not by the sensual object but the economic object.I really enjoyed "Didibug Pin," but that was a much weaker argument than the one I ended up adopting (which, I assume, won't have convinced all that many folks anyway) about structure. Probably the most useful point I made was that
A genre is only as vital as its canon is contested.The question of canonicity, especially in genre, has been popping up throughout my work recently, especially in pieces I have written for publications. I think it's something worth considering seriously, as one vector of the ongoing struggle within the community.