Many years ago I closed the door on my never-completed doctoral research. Literally.
My PhD had been ABD for a while, and then it was just BAD.
I put all the material evidence for my five years of hard work in a far flung wardrobe in my house, at the very corner of the small study I never use any more except for storage, and I shut that door tight.
I honestly can't recall when I last looked in that corner. It must have been so long ago that I had even forgotten the failed PhD was sitting in there, freshly coiled and waiting to spring like a Jack in the Box, when I lifted the lid today, innocently thinking, hmm I wonder what's in here?
I'm gradually emptying out this house you see, ahead of selling it. It's a big job for a hoarder, who comes from a long line of hoarders.
So there, neatly stacked and almost hopefully so, it seemed today, are the file boxes and the ring binders, labelled and tidy and so irrelevant to me now, surely I should just… ??
Chuck the lot? Nooooooooooooooooo…..
I still have hopes that some day I will turn it all into a novel.
Like all of those of us who have not actually ever written a novel, I do sometimes entertain the thought that this or that raw wound or healed scar might contain the makings of a good novel.
But I understand from good authority that it is not as easy at it looks to turn your failures into fictions.
According to the famous mathematical thought experiment, Schroedinger's cat is neither dead nor alive. So it's a cool concept if you don't like being locked into binaries. Not so good if you don't like being locked into a lethal booby-trapped box. And from the cat's point of view, there is no ambiguity at all.