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.