This is my first post of the year and it has been a while since I posted last so I thought I’d do a little write up of my coming semester and what texts I am actually looking forward to and I think would be valuable for anyone to give a read. I am aware this is not the most exciting topic to blog about but I know when I was looking for what course to study, reading about what it is actually like inside the course would have been super helpful!
A lot of this semester’s reading is classics and what is often referred to as ‘literary canon’ – meaning works thought to contribute to the most important pieces of literature in a particular time or place – So I am excited to dip into more academically acclaimed literature as I usually put them off thinking they may be ‘too difficult’ to read but I am finding that they’re easier read with patience and that I should stop doubting my ability. I am unclear on my position with regarding works in a literary canon, I believe that many works that, at their time, progressed the writing community massively and inspired writers and continue to inspire now, but the demographics of many of these works trouble me and I believe if re-evaluated, the typical canon that we speak about in English literature would be much more expansive. However, this is my uninformed opinion so I am hoping from studying them this semester I will gain a stronger view of the literary canon and its classics.
I am not going to go through every single text because that would be a painstakingly long and boring blog post, but I am going to highlight some that I am particularly interested in.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was a book I was looking to read before it appeared on my reading list for uni as I wanted to read it before the Greta Gerwig adaptation came out in cinemas so that I did and it was an added bonus that it checked it off of my course reading. It had a much bigger impact on my perspective than I anticipated, it ignited confidence in myself to write with no cares and persevere while I am learning to write creatively as it is something I never hoped to be able to do but is now something I am super invested in. It is clear to see that Jo had a massive impact on me, also a love for life where work and rest is balanced is something that I really want to live my life by in 2020 onwards, I read Little Women at a very timely moment on the turn of a new decade so I hope it’ll make a big impact on my perspective this year.
The Secret Garden by France Hodgson Burnett is one that I had not heard of before looking through the list but I am excited to read it as I love when writers create a protagonist that is completely unlikeable, it is too often that the main character is heroic, virtuous and good-tempered, but I love a controversial and ugly character to really form a relationship with.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte are two that I am very excited about as I love reading classics written by women, it resonates on another level with me as I admire the dedication to writing at a time where women were not expected to write and even less expected to publish such great and admired works, I also gain a lot of inspiration to mould my writing style and creative process from them.
Paradise Lost by John Milton is a text I’ve wanted to read for a long time now, I was first introduced to it when I wanted to study religion at A-level and University, I am unsure whether I will enjoy it as much as I have glorified it in my mind, but the excerpts I have read from it while studying have intrigued me so I hope that I do.
So these are the main texts that I am excited to read for my course and all but one are texts that were on my reading list prior to the course so it gives me an excuse to tick them off of my TBR’s. I hope you enjoyed this first post back and that you see a book here that you might be interested in, or let me know if you have read any of the many books on the full list for my course.
If you are looking to do an English Literature course and have any questions about the reading, the topics and the workload then I would be more than happy to answer to the best of my ability!