First of all: I’m sorry! I made promises on this blog to post more during term time this year, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened. I’ve just been too damn busy! So now at the start of week 7 (we have 10 week terms) I thought I’d take a moment to sit down and reflect on all the reading that I’ve done so far this term – I started drafting this post at the end of week 5 but I’ve only just now got on to finishing it which just gives you an idea of how busy I’ve been.
What I’ve read:
- The Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
- As You Like It – William Shakepeare
- The Wasteland – T.S. Eliot
- Look, Stranger! – W.H. Auden
- Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
- Autumn Journal – Louis MacNeice
- St Mawr – D.H. Lawrence
- Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
- Henry VI part I – William Shakespeare
- Richard III – William Shakespeare
- On the Road: The Original Scroll – Jack Kerouac
From this list the two texts that I’d recommend come from my current favourite module which is ‘Modernism’, although the seminar is on Monday’s 4pm-6pm when I’m usually super tired I always look forwards to the interesting discussions that take place in that space. I’d definitely recommend Good Morning, Midnight to a casual reader, I found it a well paced, thought provoking and emotional read. It’s about a woman called Sasha who goes to Paris to attempt to deal with his alcoholism and emotional issues following a suicide attempt and a failed relationship – although quite heavy emotionally the themes are well handled by Rhys and it’s been my favourite course book so far this year. I would also recommend giving The Wasteland a go, although quite surreal in parts it’s a poem that isn’t really meant to be fully understood – give yourself half an hour to get immersed in the world of it and you might find yourself understanding a little of Eliot’s point of view.
So far this term I’ve also watched about 20 different films for my dissertation which is on The Beat Generation on screen, which although enjoyable, has slightly made me regret my topic choice. They say never meet you’re heroes and I’m meeting mine everyday in different guises, pseudonyms, and behind the gaze of different writers and directors. I’ve also written 2500 words and I’m working on another 3000 word essay and a dissertation chapter. I’ve performed at multiple open mic nights, got back in to writing, joined a new society (The Writer’s Society) and stayed with The Vagina Monologues (which I’m head director of this year). So all in all pretty damn busy!
I’d be lying if I said I’ve enjoyed every moment so far, the stress of the constant reading and looming deadlines has certainly got to me at times, but I feel like I’m finally finding my rhythm this year. Last year I rediscovered why I like English Literature as I was allowed a lot more freedom in choosing my modules, this year I’ve been able to do that to an even greater extent. In second year I discovered what the Uni experience should really be about – enjoying yourself, learning, and having new experiences. In first year I was so hung up on the new experiences and learning thing that I think I kind of forgot to enjoy myself, but I think I’ve finally found a balance this year. I’m learning and growing and enjoying my subject – although come the end of the term after writing another 6000 words that might be a different story.