Tuesday, January 09, 2007

whole lotta reading goin' on

I had to go to my Victorian Lit class tonight without doing the reading, which is annoying and also dangerous, because you never know when the discussion will lag and the professor will randomly ask you a question about the stuff you haven’t read. In my defense, however, I have been really, really sick since last Thursday, so I didn’t buy my books until yesterday (Monday). The reading assignment for the first class was like a very intense survey of Victorian thought, literature, and historical contexts – Carlyle, Dickens, Eliot, Mill, Robert Browning, Tennyson, the Rossettis (I have no idea how to pluralize that name), Ruskin, Arnold (just the poetry, mercifully), Pater, Hopkins, and Wilde, plus the historical information in the anthology. I barely made it through the introductory historical material by class time, so I’ll have to catch up on the rest later.

The professor anticipates 200-300 pages of reading per week for this class, which sounds like an awful lot when she says it out loud like that. It’s really not that much. Fifty pages a day, six days a week. An hour a day. No big deal. But when I see the number staring at me in my notes – 300 PAGES A WEEK – it seems like a lot. I suppose the difficulty will actually depend on the content of the readings. 300 pages of Heidegger would put me in the psych ward; 300 pages of John Buchan, not so much.

4 comments:

Heidi said...

Hee hee. I guessed that might be why it suddenly disappeared. Let's try this again! :) 300 pages of DGR would put me in the psych ward... in case you haven't discovered it yet, he's a much better artist than poet... Christina is the real poet in that family... and I betcha a lot of your 300 pages will be primary sources, hurrah! So you'll survive. Who's teaching the class, Victoria? I can't think of any other female Victorians at the moment, except pseudo-Victoria, and I don't think she's in a place for teaching grad courses yet... Shame Mithrandir's not teaching it...

Octavia said...

Yes, Victoria's teaching. And since she's on my committee, I'd like to at least appear as if I'm working hard. :)

[chuckle]"Mithrandir," huh? I've always thought of him as more of an elf, but Mithrandir fits.

It looks like we'll be able to design our own reading to some extent, so I really have no room to complain. We'll be working out of Special Collections in the library.

nicole said...

i've heard some things about that class--we'll have to chat some time.

Heidi said...

Wow. Special collections, eh? I never did venture down there at the zoo. They have no Old English manuscripts. :) Yes, well, given what part of my thesis was on, and the fact that he pretty much saved my neck, Mithrandir is more than appropriate... Which is what the elves called him. And his other name, that everyone else called him, Gandalf, contains the word "elf" in its original form: Gandaelfr (a-umlaut, can't do that here), it's a name that turns up in the poetic Edda. So thinking of him as an elf also works. LOL