Denis Wood‘s dissertation might just be my next project. It was completed in 1972, and titled I Don’t Want To, But I Will. It’s all to download from his website here. If you don’t fancy wading through the whole 685 pages, at least read the acknowledgements, where there is a quite wonderful attack on his supervisors – in true Wood style! Here’s a section from his preface describing it:

This dissertation makes no pretense at being objective, whatever that ever was. I tell you as much as I can. I tell you as many of my beliefs as you could want to know. This is my Introduction. I tell you about this project in value-loaded terms. You will not need to ferret these out. They will hit you over the head and sock you in the stomach. Such terms, such opinions run throughout the dissertation. Then I tell you the story of this project, sort of as if you were in my-and not somebody else’s -mind. This is part II of the dissertation. You may believe me if you wish. you may doubt every word. But I’m not conning you. Aside from the value-loaded vocabulary-when I think live done something wonderful, or stupid, I don’t mind giving myself a pat on the back, or a kick in the pants. parts I and III are what sloppy users of the English language might call “objective.” I don’t know about that. They’re conscientious, honest, rigorous, fair, ethical, responsible-to the extent, of course, that I am these things, no farther. (P.12 Introduction)

Also, I’ve never come across the word ‘rodomontade’ before reading it in Wood’s introduction!

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