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A Reading List for English Applicants

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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
Interview Discussion 30-01-2014
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    (Original post by Ars Ludicra)
    Does that makes two coconuts? :ahee:

    Edit: And I think I would consider Waiting for Godot a translation since, as far as I remember, the differences are not so great. They seemed to be differences relating to the staging rather than anything else. I'm not fond of Beckett, though, so I may have blocked the significant changes from my memory. :cute:
    Perhaps I'm getting muddled with Endgame. Even so, I believe the point still stands, but, yes, you get two.

    (Original post by Ploop)
    Surprised you went with Heart of Darkness by the way, as so many seem to loathe it, but I think it's a pretty good choice.
    As I said, they're all wrong. But, in seriousness, I think its significance, in terms of how it fits at the root of Modernism, is enough to outweigh any aesthetic superiority ascribed to his other novels. (And I like it.)
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    This is great MSB.

    I don't recall mentioning any authors in my personal statement.
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    (Original post by LostHorizons)
    Pre-1960

    A Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
    Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
    Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
    Tristram Shandy – Lawrence Sterne
    Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
    Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
    Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
    Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
    Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
    Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
    Hard Times – Charles Dickens
    Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
    The Mill on the Floss – George Elliot
    Middlemarch – George Elliot
    The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
    Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
    June the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
    Dubliners – James Joyce
    Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
    Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
    Kim – Rudyard Kipling
    A Room with a View – EM Forster
    A Passage to India – EM Forster
    Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence
    The Rainbow – DH Lawrence
    Women in Love – DH Lawrence
    The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
    Ulysses – James Joyce
    Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
    To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
    Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
    Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
    A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
    The Road to Wigan Pier – George Orwell
    1984 – George Orwell
    The Power and the Glory – Grahame Greene

    Modern/Contemporary Fiction

    Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
    Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
    Reservation Blues – Sherman Alexie
    The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
    Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
    London Fields – Martin Amis
    Behind the Scenes at the Museum – Kate Atkinson
    The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
    Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
    New York Trilogy – Paul Aster
    The Crow Road – Iain Banks
    The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
    Union Street – Pat Barker
    Regeneration Trilogy – Pat Barker
    A History of the World in 10½ Chapters – Julian Barnes
    Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes
    The Book of Evidence – John Banville
    The Master and the Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
    A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
    Possession – AS Byatt
    If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino
    Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter
    The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
    The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
    Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey
    Jack Maggs – Peter Carey
    The Awakening – Kate Chopin
    Foe – JM Coetzee
    Libra – Don DeLillo
    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
    The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
    The Joys of Motherhood – Buchi Emecheta
    Love Medicine – Louise Erdrich
    Absalom, Absalom – William Faulkner
    The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
    The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
    A Life in 4 Books – Alister Gray
    Snow Falling on Cedars – Steve Gutterson
    Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
    For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
    Plan B – Chester Himes
    The Cider House Rules – John Irving
    The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
    How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman
    The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
    The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureshi
    Briefing for a Descent into Hell – Doris Lessing
    If This is a Man – Primo Levi
    Nice Work – David Lodge
    One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marques
    All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
    Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
    Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
    Atonement – Ian McEwan
    Beloved – Toni Morrison
    The Bell – Iris Murdoch
    Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
    The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien
    The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
    Our Fathers – Andrew O’Hagan
    Running in the Family – Michael Ondaatje
    Knowledge of Angels – Jill Paton Walsh
    Cambridge – Caryl Phillips
    The Shipping News – E Annie Proux
    Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
    The Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
    Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys
    The Human Stain – Philip Roth
    Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
    Shame – Salman Rushdie
    The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
    Waterland – Graham Swift
    The White Hotel – DM Thomas
    Sacred Country – Rose Tremain
    Meridian – Alice Walker
    Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson



    :eek:
    UHH I've read a grand total of...2 of those books! Plus I've seen the film version of Atonement, does that count?!
    I've just mentioned Alan Bennett, Sylvia Plath, Angela Carter, Evelyn Waugh and Noel Coward in my personal statement! :o:
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    (Original post by LostHorizons)
    Spoiler:
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    A Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
    Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
    Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
    Tristram Shandy – Lawrence Sterne
    Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
    Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
    Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
    Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
    Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
    Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
    Hard Times – Charles Dickens
    Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
    The Mill on the Floss – George Elliot
    Middlemarch – George Elliot
    The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
    Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
    June the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
    Dubliners – James Joyce
    Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
    Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
    Kim – Rudyard Kipling
    A Room with a View – EM Forster
    A Passage to India – EM Forster
    Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence
    The Rainbow – DH Lawrence
    Women in Love – DH Lawrence
    The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
    Ulysses – James Joyce
    Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
    To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
    Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
    Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
    A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
    The Road to Wigan Pier – George Orwell
    1984 – George Orwell
    The Power and the Glory – Grahame Greene

    Modern/Contemporary Fiction

    Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
    Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
    Reservation Blues – Sherman Alexie
    The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
    Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
    London Fields – Martin Amis
    Behind the Scenes at the Museum – Kate Atkinson
    The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
    Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
    New York Trilogy – Paul Aster
    The Crow Road – Iain Banks
    The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
    Union Street – Pat Barker
    Regeneration Trilogy – Pat Barker
    A History of the World in 10½ Chapters – Julian Barnes
    Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes
    The Book of Evidence – John Banville
    The Master and the Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
    A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
    Possession – AS Byatt
    If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino
    Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter
    The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
    The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
    Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey
    Jack Maggs – Peter Carey
    The Awakening – Kate Chopin
    Foe – JM Coetzee
    Libra – Don DeLillo
    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
    The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
    The Joys of Motherhood – Buchi Emecheta
    Love Medicine – Louise Erdrich
    Absalom, Absalom – William Faulkner
    The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
    The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
    A Life in 4 Books – Alister Gray
    Snow Falling on Cedars – Steve Gutterson
    Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
    For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
    Plan B – Chester Himes
    The Cider House Rules – John Irving
    The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
    How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman
    The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
    The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureshi
    Briefing for a Descent into Hell – Doris Lessing
    If This is a Man – Primo Levi
    Nice Work – David Lodge
    One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marques
    All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
    Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
    Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
    Atonement – Ian McEwan
    Beloved – Toni Morrison
    The Bell – Iris Murdoch
    Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
    The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien
    The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
    Our Fathers – Andrew O’Hagan
    Running in the Family – Michael Ondaatje
    Knowledge of Angels – Jill Paton Walsh
    Cambridge – Caryl Phillips
    The Shipping News – E Annie Proux
    Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
    The Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
    Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys
    The Human Stain – Philip Roth
    Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
    Shame – Salman Rushdie
    The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
    Waterland – Graham Swift
    The White Hotel – DM Thomas
    Sacred Country – Rose Tremain
    Meridian – Alice Walker
    Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
    I do hope that list is (and I don't doubt) a load of crap.
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    When I went on an open day to St John's Oxford the English tutor kept on and on saying that they really don't care what it is that you've read before you apply, as long as you've thought carefully about the stuff you have read. Which sounds far more logical than saying 'here is a magical list of books that will guarantee you consideration'. I've hardly read any of the books off that list, and don't really plan to before I apply =/

    Edit: 35mm, I'm pretty darn sure it is absolute tosh. I'd be amazed if the university would willingly give someone a list of books they 'should' read. It would just seem weird.
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    (Original post by LostHorizons)
    When I went on an open day to St John's Oxford the English tutor kept on and on saying that they really don't care what it is that you've read before you apply, as long as you've thought carefully about the stuff you have read. Which sounds far more logical than saying 'here is a magical list of books that will guarantee you consideration'. I've hardly read any of the books off that list, and don't really plan to before I apply =/

    Edit: 35mm, I'm pretty darn sure it is absolute tosh. I'd be amazed if the university would willingly give someone a list of books they 'should' read. It would just seem weird.
    I suspect the confusion comes in what the list was for. As it stands, its not a bad set of suggestions (if not as good as mine...), so perhaps it was sent to your friend's friend as suggestions, but they misconstrued its purpose.

    EDIT: UCL has a list here of 'recommended reading' for prospective applicants, so it may have been given as something similar.
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    I suspect it's perhaps more a 'if you're really stuck for what to read, perhaps try these' rather than a 'you MUST have read all of these'. It also seems weird that they would list so many novels, then quickly tag onto the end 'oh, maybe read a poem or two as well'.
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    I've been using that UCL 16-18 list for a while now. I quite like the selection and it's led to much wider reading around the books I've enjoyed the most.

    So, apart from this list of course ( ), UCL's seem a pretty good starting point for suggestions.
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    I think that's an excellent list because I've read all but three of the books on there. I'd agree about intentionally veering away from the predictable on a PS too. Even if you're genuinely enthused by 1984, you'll probably still (rather unfairly) disadvantage your application because it's one of those classics that 'pretenders' will go on about endlessly. Or, at least, you won't be advantaging your application as much as you could by picking a less obvious & banal choice.
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    Also, have any of my fellow 2010 applicants been brave enough to dip into any Old English yet?

    I have The Battle of Maldon on my book-shelf, but...
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    (Original post by Ascient)
    I think that's an excellent list because I've read all but three of the books on there. I'd agree about intentionally veering away from the predictable on a PS too. Even if you're genuinely enthused by 1984, you'll probably still (rather unfairly) disadvantage your application because it's one of those classics that 'pretenders' will go on about endlessly. Or, at least, you won't be advantaging your application as much as you could by picking a less obvious & banal choice.
    Ploop will perhaps defend the opposing viewpoint better than myself, but I think it can be daft to risk the dangers of "intentionally veering away from the predictable" when you could 'do' "the predictable" better.

    (Original post by 35mm_)
    Also, have any of my fellow 2010 applicants been brave enough to dip into any Old English yet?

    I have The Battle of Maldon on my book-shelf, but...
    That reminds me, I must edit my list.
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    Ah, well, if I can put it in a spoiler:

    Spoiler:
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    PAPER 1 (Faculty Lectures and College Classes throughout the year)
    This paper is designed to introduce you to ways of thinking and writing about literature.

    Primary Reading:
    King James Bible (Genesis, Song of Solomon, St John’s Gospel)
    Shakespeare, The Tempest
    Conrad, Heart of Darkness

    Secondary Reading:
    A. Bennett and N. Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory: Key Critical Concepts (3rd ed., 2004)
    J. Lennard, The Poetry Handbook (1996, 2nd ed, 2005)
    Lodge, D., ed., Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader (2nd edn revd. Nigel Wood, 2000)
    -----------------, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism: A Reader (1988)
    J.Wolfreys, Glossolalia: An Alphabet of Critical Keywords (2003)
    Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics (1983).
    David Lodge, The Art of Fiction (1992).
    M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (7th ed., 1999).


    PAPER TWO

    a) Victorian Literature (1832-1900)

    CLASSES: Required Preliminary Reading

    Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies; Robert Browning, Men and Women; Dickens, Little Dorrit; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (World’s Classics); Boehmer, ed. Empire Writing (OUP); George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Mary Kingsley, Travels in West Africa (Everyman); Arnold, ‘Empedocles on Etna’, ‘Sohrab and Rustum’ (and ‘The Study of Poetry’, ‘On Translating Homer’, and the Prefaces to Poems 1853 and 1854); Clough, The Bothie.

    TUTORIALS: Choose any two or three authors

    Mrs Gaskell, Mary Barton, North and South, Sylvia’s Lovers, Cranford.
    Hardy, A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Woodlanders, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure.
    George Eliot, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, Felix Holt.
    Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, What Maisie Knew, The Turn of the Screw, The Ambassadors, The Figure in the Carpet, The Spoils of Poynton.
    The Brontes, Villette, The Professor, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights.
    Dickens, Sketches by Boz, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend.
    Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and The Hound of the Baskervilles.
    Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, ‘The Soul of Man under Socialism’, ‘The Decay of Lying’, ‘The Critic as Artist’, ‘The Truth of Masks’.
    ‘New Woman’ Fiction/Drama: Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm, Grant Allen, The Woman Who Did (Oxford), George Egerton, Keynotes and Discords (Virago), The New Woman and other Emancipated Woman Plays (Oxford).
    ‘Imperial Gothic/Science Fiction’: Stoker, Dracula; Rider Haggard, She and King Solomon’s Mines; H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds.
    Clough, Selected Poems (Carcanet and/or Longman).
    Walt Whitman, Collected Poems (Everyman).
    Arnold, The Complete Poems (Longman), Culture and Anarchy (Cambridge).
    Christina Rossetti, Poems and Prose (Everyman)
    Hopkins, Poems and Prose (Penguin)
    Pater, Marius the Epicurean, and Essays on Literature and Art (Everyman)
    Tennyson, Longman Selected Edition, ed. Christopher Ricks. Read all the shorter poems, plus ‘In Memoriam’, ‘The Princess’, and ‘The Idylls of the King’.
    Robert Browning, read all the shorter poems in either Robert Browning’s Poetry (Norton Critical Edition) or Robert Browning: Selected Poetry, ed. Karlin (Penguin), and read The Ring and the Book (Penguin).

    b) Modern Literature (1900-Present Day)

    CLASSES: Required Preliminary Reading

    Woolf, The Voyage Out, The Waves and Between the Acts; Conrad, The ****** of the ‘Narcissus’, Heart of Darkness, and ‘Falk’; Freud, ‘Civilisation and its Discontents’; Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and at least the first three (‘Telemachus’, ‘Nestor’ and ‘Proteus’) and the thirteenth (‘Nausicaa’) episodes of Ulysses; T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land; J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K; Nadine Gordimer, Burger’s Daughter.

    TUTORIALS: Choose any two or three authors

    Joyce, Dubliners; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ulysses; Occasional, Critical and Political Writings (World’s Classics).
    Conrad, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Shadow Line, Under Western Eyes, ‘The Secret Sharer’, and ‘The Outpost of Progress’.
    Bennett, A Man from the North, The Grim Smile of the Five Towns, Clayhanger, Hilda Lessways, The Old Wives’ Tale.
    Woolf, A Writer’s Diary, To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, Jacob’s Room, Orlando, Three Guineas, A Room of One’s Own, A Woman’s Essays (Penguin).
    Beckett, Proust, Murphy, Watt, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable, The Complete Dramatic Works.
    Forster, A Room with a View, A Passage to India, Maurice, Howards End, Abinger Harvest, and Where Angels Fear to Tread, Short Stories.
    Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Kangaroo, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (3 versions), Women in Love, The Rainbow, Short Stories.
    Orwell, A Clergyman’s Daughter, Nineteen Eighty-four, Animal Farm, Coming Up for Air, The Penguin Essays of George Orwell.
    J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K, Foe, Disgrace, Diary of a Bad Year, White Writing (Essays).
    V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River, The Mimic Men, The Enigma of Arrival, Finding the Centre, The Return of Eva Perón.
    Rushdie, Shame, Midnight’s Children, Satanic Verses, Imaginary Homelands (essays).
    Auden, The Collected Shorter Poems (Faber), The Collected Longer Poems (Faber).
    Hardy, Selected Poems (World’s Classics).
    Larkin, Collected Poems (Faber), Required Writing (Faber).
    Heaney, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996 (Faber), Preoccupations (Faber).
    Plath, Collected Poems (Faber), Journals and Letters, The Bell Jar.
    Linton Kwesi Johnson, Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems (Penguin).
    Pinter, Plays 1-4 (Faber).
    T.S. Eliot, The Complete Poems and Plays (Faber), Selected Essays (Faber).
    W.B. Yeats, Collected Poems (Macmillan), Essays and Introductions (Macmillan).
    Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems (Faber).
    William Carlos Williams, Collected Poems (Paladin).

    PAPER THREE

    Preparatory Reading
    Read at least three of the books on this list, including one of literature in translation and one critical introduction. After that, feel free to explore the other materials, including the helpful websites listed here, and by looking at Anglo-Saxon artifacts, architecture and manuscripts in churches, museums, art galleries and online.

    Texts in Translation
    Anglo-Saxon Poetry, trans. S.A.J. Bradley (Everyman, 1982) [translations of most Old English poems, with brief introductions]

    Old and Middle English: An Anthology, ed. Elaine Treharne (Blackwell, 2000) [wide-ranging collection with facing translations of Old English texts]

    A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse, ed./trans. Richard Hamer (Faber, 1970) [good anthology of Old English texts, with facing translation]

    Beowulf, trans. Seamus Heaney (Faber, 1999); or trans. Kevin Crossley-Holland (OUP, 1999); or trans. R.M. Liuzza (Broadview, 2000) [different verse translations of the most important poem in early English. Heaney’s version in particular has, of course, received a lot of praise in its own right.]

    The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology, ed/trans. Kevin Crossley-Holland (OUP, 1984) [a collection of texts illustrating Anglo-Saxon life and literature, in a lively translation]

    Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Bertram Colgrave (OUP, 1999) [first written in the eighth century; and one of the greatest achievements of any historian; gives a sharp insight into the life and culture of the early Anglo-Saxons. You can also listen to a radio programme discussing Bede and his work via: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20041125.shtml. Other programmes in the same series discuss the Carolingian renaissance: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20060330.shtml and King Alfred: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20050407.shtml ]

    Introductions and Discussion
    The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge (CUP, 1991) [very useful set of essays on Old English]

    Daniel Donoghue, Old English Literature: A Short Introduction (Blackwell, 2004) [helpful introduction aimed at students]

    Michelle Brown, Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels (British Library, 2003) [short guide to one of the most precious and beautiful manuscripts from Anglo-Saxon England]

    James Campbell, ed., The Anglo-Saxons (1982, repr. Penguin, 1991) [excellent illustrated history]

    Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English (Blackwell, many reprints) [the textbook for the course, with introduction to Old English language and literary texts. You’ll need to own a copy of this eventually but may be able to buy it secondhand when you arrive]

    PAPER 4
    For Paper 4 (a) or (b) see Paper 2 (a) or (b) above. Most of the reading lists will be provided when you come up, but for Paper 4 (g) – (l) you should make a start on the following:

    c) Beowulf and its Cultural Background
    Use the paper 3 reading list and focus on Beowulf-related material. Watch the recent film if you want to, but don’t expect the poem to be much like it!

    d) Middle English Dream Poetry
    Chaucer’s Dream Poetry, ed. Helen Phillips and Nick Havely (1997)
    A.C. Spearing, Medieval Dream Poetry (1976)

    e) Classical Literature
    Homer, Iliad and Odyssey [read in Penguin or Oxford World’s Classics translation]
    Virgil, Aeneid
    Ovid, Metamorphoses

    f) Introduction to Language and Linguistics
    R.L. Trask, Language: The Basics (1999)
    R.L. Trask, Introducing Linguistics (2005)
    Radford et al., Linguistics: An Introduction (2009)

    g) Introduction to Critical Theory
    Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (1997).
    Rice and Waugh, eds. Modern Literary Theory (4th ed. 2001 or later)
    Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory (revised ed., 1996)

    h) Christina Rossetti
    Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems (Penguin, 2001)

    i) Thomas Hardy
    A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Woodlanders, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, Trumpet Major, The Return of the Native, Selected Poems (World’s Classics)

    j) Virginia Woolf
    The Voyage Out, The Waves, Between the Acts, A Writer’s Diary, To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, Jacob’s Room, Orlando, Three Guineas, A Room of One’s Own, A Woman’s Essays (Penguin).

    k) Samuel Beckett
    Proust, More Pricks than Kicks, Murphy, Watt, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable, The Complete Dramatic Works
    l) Seamus Heaney
    Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue.

    GENERAL SECONDARY READING

    Isobel Armstrong *Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics, and Politics
    Derek Attridge *Peculiar Language
    Gillian Beer *Darwin’s Plots, Arguing with the Past
    Clive Bloom, ed. *Literature and Culture in Modern Britain (vol. 1)
    Thomas Carlyle *‘Signs of the Times’, Sartor Resartus (Book 1)
    T.S. Eliot The Use of Poetry and The Use of Criticism
    Sigmund Freud *Civilization and its Discontents (Penguin, vol.12)
    Edmund Gosse Father and Son
    Robin Gilmour **The Victorian Period
    Josephine Guy *The Victorian Social-Problem Novel
    Josephine Guy, ed. **The Victorian Age (Routledge)
    Henry James *The Critical Muse: Selected Literary Criticism (Penguin)
    Peter Keating *The Haunted Study
    David Lodge, ed. **20th Century Literary Criticism
    Kolocotroni, et. al. **Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents
    Marx and Engels The Communist Manifesto
    J.S. Mill Autobiography
    Peter Nicholls **Modernisms: A Literary Guide
    Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spake Zarathustra
    Plato The Republic
    George Orwell Collected Essays (Penguin)
    Walter Pater The Renaissance (esp. The Preface and Conclusion; ‘Leonardo da Vinci’)
    Ezra Pound The ABC of Reading
    John Ruskin Praeterita (Oxford Paperback), Selected Ruskin, ed. John Rosenberg (Routledge)
    Charles Taylor Sources of the Self
    Herbert Tucker, ed. **A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture (Blackwells)
    Dennis Walder, ed. *Literature in the Modern World
    Anthony Weston ***A Rulebook for Arguments (3rd ed, 2001)
    Oscar Wilde ‘The Critic as Artist’, ‘The Decay of Lying’



    Ergh. That list of books to have read before applying...haven't read half of them. I might count 'em up now.
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    (Original post by ChocolateFish)
    :eek:
    UHH I've read a grand total of...2 of those books! Plus I've seen the film version of Atonement, does that count?!
    I've just mentioned Alan Bennett, Sylvia Plath, Angela Carter, Evelyn Waugh and Noel Coward in my personal statement! :o:
    I've read 28 - I'm amazed they allowed me to graduate.:eek3:

    Seriously, though, that's clearly just a list of suggestions.
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    (Original post by 35mm_)
    Also, have any of my fellow 2010 applicants been brave enough to dip into any Old English yet?

    I have The Battle of Maldon on my book-shelf, but...
    I'm gonna attempt Beowulf soon, since I think it's quite short :ninja:

    Also, I'm dubious about automatically ruling out mentioning certain books just because they're 'predictable'. I think mentioning things you genuinely love, whether they're commonly mentioned or not, is the best way of going about it.
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    I've read 15 of those books. What larks!
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    (Original post by Dionysia)
    Ah, well, if I can put it in a spoiler:

    Spoiler:
    Show

    PAPER 1 (Faculty Lectures and College Classes throughout the year)
    This paper is designed to introduce you to ways of thinking and writing about literature.

    Primary Reading:
    King James Bible (Genesis, Song of Solomon, St John’s Gospel)
    Shakespeare, The Tempest
    Conrad, Heart of Darkness

    Secondary Reading:
    A. Bennett and N. Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory: Key Critical Concepts (3rd ed., 2004)
    J. Lennard, The Poetry Handbook (1996, 2nd ed, 2005)
    Lodge, D., ed., Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader (2nd edn revd. Nigel Wood, 2000)
    -----------------, Twentieth Century Literary Criticism: A Reader (1988)
    J.Wolfreys, Glossolalia: An Alphabet of Critical Keywords (2003)
    Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics (1983).
    David Lodge, The Art of Fiction (1992).
    M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (7th ed., 1999).


    PAPER TWO

    a) Victorian Literature (1832-1900)

    CLASSES: Required Preliminary Reading

    Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies; Robert Browning, Men and Women; Dickens, Little Dorrit; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (World’s Classics); Boehmer, ed. Empire Writing (OUP); George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Mary Kingsley, Travels in West Africa (Everyman); Arnold, ‘Empedocles on Etna’, ‘Sohrab and Rustum’ (and ‘The Study of Poetry’, ‘On Translating Homer’, and the Prefaces to Poems 1853 and 1854); Clough, The Bothie.

    TUTORIALS: Choose any two or three authors

    Mrs Gaskell, Mary Barton, North and South, Sylvia’s Lovers, Cranford.
    Hardy, A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Woodlanders, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure.
    George Eliot, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, Felix Holt.
    Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, What Maisie Knew, The Turn of the Screw, The Ambassadors, The Figure in the Carpet, The Spoils of Poynton.
    The Brontes, Villette, The Professor, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights.
    Dickens, Sketches by Boz, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend.
    Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and The Hound of the Baskervilles.
    Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, ‘The Soul of Man under Socialism’, ‘The Decay of Lying’, ‘The Critic as Artist’, ‘The Truth of Masks’.
    ‘New Woman’ Fiction/Drama: Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm, Grant Allen, The Woman Who Did (Oxford), George Egerton, Keynotes and Discords (Virago), The New Woman and other Emancipated Woman Plays (Oxford).
    ‘Imperial Gothic/Science Fiction’: Stoker, Dracula; Rider Haggard, She and King Solomon’s Mines; H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds.
    Clough, Selected Poems (Carcanet and/or Longman).
    Walt Whitman, Collected Poems (Everyman).
    Arnold, The Complete Poems (Longman), Culture and Anarchy (Cambridge).
    Christina Rossetti, Poems and Prose (Everyman)
    Hopkins, Poems and Prose (Penguin)
    Pater, Marius the Epicurean, and Essays on Literature and Art (Everyman)
    Tennyson, Longman Selected Edition, ed. Christopher Ricks. Read all the shorter poems, plus ‘In Memoriam’, ‘The Princess’, and ‘The Idylls of the King’.
    Robert Browning, read all the shorter poems in either Robert Browning’s Poetry (Norton Critical Edition) or Robert Browning: Selected Poetry, ed. Karlin (Penguin), and read The Ring and the Book (Penguin).

    b) Modern Literature (1900-Present Day)

    CLASSES: Required Preliminary Reading

    Woolf, The Voyage Out, The Waves and Between the Acts; Conrad, The ****** of the ‘Narcissus’, Heart of Darkness, and ‘Falk’; Freud, ‘Civilisation and its Discontents’; Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and at least the first three (‘Telemachus’, ‘Nestor’ and ‘Proteus’) and the thirteenth (‘Nausicaa’) episodes of Ulysses; T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land; J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K; Nadine Gordimer, Burger’s Daughter.

    TUTORIALS: Choose any two or three authors

    Joyce, Dubliners; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ulysses; Occasional, Critical and Political Writings (World’s Classics).
    Conrad, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Shadow Line, Under Western Eyes, ‘The Secret Sharer’, and ‘The Outpost of Progress’.
    Bennett, A Man from the North, The Grim Smile of the Five Towns, Clayhanger, Hilda Lessways, The Old Wives’ Tale.
    Woolf, A Writer’s Diary, To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, Jacob’s Room, Orlando, Three Guineas, A Room of One’s Own, A Woman’s Essays (Penguin).
    Beckett, Proust, Murphy, Watt, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable, The Complete Dramatic Works.
    Forster, A Room with a View, A Passage to India, Maurice, Howards End, Abinger Harvest, and Where Angels Fear to Tread, Short Stories.
    Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Kangaroo, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (3 versions), Women in Love, The Rainbow, Short Stories.
    Orwell, A Clergyman’s Daughter, Nineteen Eighty-four, Animal Farm, Coming Up for Air, The Penguin Essays of George Orwell.
    J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K, Foe, Disgrace, Diary of a Bad Year, White Writing (Essays).
    V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River, The Mimic Men, The Enigma of Arrival, Finding the Centre, The Return of Eva Perón.
    Rushdie, Shame, Midnight’s Children, Satanic Verses, Imaginary Homelands (essays).
    Auden, The Collected Shorter Poems (Faber), The Collected Longer Poems (Faber).
    Hardy, Selected Poems (World’s Classics).
    Larkin, Collected Poems (Faber), Required Writing (Faber).
    Heaney, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996 (Faber), Preoccupations (Faber).
    Plath, Collected Poems (Faber), Journals and Letters, The Bell Jar.
    Linton Kwesi Johnson, Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems (Penguin).
    Pinter, Plays 1-4 (Faber).
    T.S. Eliot, The Complete Poems and Plays (Faber), Selected Essays (Faber).
    W.B. Yeats, Collected Poems (Macmillan), Essays and Introductions (Macmillan).
    Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems (Faber).
    William Carlos Williams, Collected Poems (Paladin).

    PAPER THREE

    Preparatory Reading
    Read at least three of the books on this list, including one of literature in translation and one critical introduction. After that, feel free to explore the other materials, including the helpful websites listed here, and by looking at Anglo-Saxon artifacts, architecture and manuscripts in churches, museums, art galleries and online.

    Texts in Translation
    Anglo-Saxon Poetry, trans. S.A.J. Bradley (Everyman, 1982) [translations of most Old English poems, with brief introductions]

    Old and Middle English: An Anthology, ed. Elaine Treharne (Blackwell, 2000) [wide-ranging collection with facing translations of Old English texts]

    A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse, ed./trans. Richard Hamer (Faber, 1970) [good anthology of Old English texts, with facing translation]

    Beowulf, trans. Seamus Heaney (Faber, 1999); or trans. Kevin Crossley-Holland (OUP, 1999); or trans. R.M. Liuzza (Broadview, 2000) [different verse translations of the most important poem in early English. Heaney’s version in particular has, of course, received a lot of praise in its own right.]

    The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology, ed/trans. Kevin Crossley-Holland (OUP, 1984) [a collection of texts illustrating Anglo-Saxon life and literature, in a lively translation]

    Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Bertram Colgrave (OUP, 1999) [first written in the eighth century; and one of the greatest achievements of any historian; gives a sharp insight into the life and culture of the early Anglo-Saxons. You can also listen to a radio programme discussing Bede and his work via: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20041125.shtml. Other programmes in the same series discuss the Carolingian renaissance: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20060330.shtml and King Alfred: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20050407.shtml ]

    Introductions and Discussion
    The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge (CUP, 1991) [very useful set of essays on Old English]

    Daniel Donoghue, Old English Literature: A Short Introduction (Blackwell, 2004) [helpful introduction aimed at students]

    Michelle Brown, Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels (British Library, 2003) [short guide to one of the most precious and beautiful manuscripts from Anglo-Saxon England]

    James Campbell, ed., The Anglo-Saxons (1982, repr. Penguin, 1991) [excellent illustrated history]

    Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English (Blackwell, many reprints) [the textbook for the course, with introduction to Old English language and literary texts. You’ll need to own a copy of this eventually but may be able to buy it secondhand when you arrive]

    PAPER 4
    For Paper 4 (a) or (b) see Paper 2 (a) or (b) above. Most of the reading lists will be provided when you come up, but for Paper 4 (g) – (l) you should make a start on the following:

    c) Beowulf and its Cultural Background
    Use the paper 3 reading list and focus on Beowulf-related material. Watch the recent film if you want to, but don’t expect the poem to be much like it!

    d) Middle English Dream Poetry
    Chaucer’s Dream Poetry, ed. Helen Phillips and Nick Havely (1997)
    A.C. Spearing, Medieval Dream Poetry (1976)

    e) Classical Literature
    Homer, Iliad and Odyssey [read in Penguin or Oxford World’s Classics translation]
    Virgil, Aeneid
    Ovid, Metamorphoses

    f) Introduction to Language and Linguistics
    R.L. Trask, Language: The Basics (1999)
    R.L. Trask, Introducing Linguistics (2005)
    Radford et al., Linguistics: An Introduction (2009)

    g) Introduction to Critical Theory
    Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (1997).
    Rice and Waugh, eds. Modern Literary Theory (4th ed. 2001 or later)
    Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory (revised ed., 1996)

    h) Christina Rossetti
    Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems (Penguin, 2001)

    i) Thomas Hardy
    A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Woodlanders, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, Trumpet Major, The Return of the Native, Selected Poems (World’s Classics)

    j) Virginia Woolf
    The Voyage Out, The Waves, Between the Acts, A Writer’s Diary, To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, Jacob’s Room, Orlando, Three Guineas, A Room of One’s Own, A Woman’s Essays (Penguin).

    k) Samuel Beckett
    Proust, More Pricks than Kicks, Murphy, Watt, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable, The Complete Dramatic Works
    l) Seamus Heaney
    Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, Preoccupations, The Government of the Tongue.

    GENERAL SECONDARY READING

    Isobel Armstrong *Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics, and Politics
    Derek Attridge *Peculiar Language
    Gillian Beer *Darwin’s Plots, Arguing with the Past
    Clive Bloom, ed. *Literature and Culture in Modern Britain (vol. 1)
    Thomas Carlyle *‘Signs of the Times’, Sartor Resartus (Book 1)
    T.S. Eliot The Use of Poetry and The Use of Criticism
    Sigmund Freud *Civilization and its Discontents (Penguin, vol.12)
    Edmund Gosse Father and Son
    Robin Gilmour **The Victorian Period
    Josephine Guy *The Victorian Social-Problem Novel
    Josephine Guy, ed. **The Victorian Age (Routledge)
    Henry James *The Critical Muse: Selected Literary Criticism (Penguin)
    Peter Keating *The Haunted Study
    David Lodge, ed. **20th Century Literary Criticism
    Kolocotroni, et. al. **Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents
    Marx and Engels The Communist Manifesto
    J.S. Mill Autobiography
    Peter Nicholls **Modernisms: A Literary Guide
    Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spake Zarathustra
    Plato The Republic
    George Orwell Collected Essays (Penguin)
    Walter Pater The Renaissance (esp. The Preface and Conclusion; ‘Leonardo da Vinci’)
    Ezra Pound The ABC of Reading
    John Ruskin Praeterita (Oxford Paperback), Selected Ruskin, ed. John Rosenberg (Routledge)
    Charles Taylor Sources of the Self
    Herbert Tucker, ed. **A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture (Blackwells)
    Dennis Walder, ed. *Literature in the Modern World
    Anthony Weston ***A Rulebook for Arguments (3rd ed, 2001)
    Oscar Wilde ‘The Critic as Artist’, ‘The Decay of Lying’



    Ergh. That list of books to have read before applying...haven't read half of them. I might count 'em up now.
    O_O

    Is that a universal list for all new English applicants, or do each college give slightly different ones?
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    (Original post by Dionysia)
    Ah, well, if I can put it in a spoiler...
    Sounds about right for a list of what you'll be reading during first year. It's really not so bad if you keep in mind that you won't actually be having tutorials on *all* of those authors.
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    Different college, different list. Oh, but Vic/Modern list, pick three authors - don't have to read the whole thing. And hobnob, you're right. The list is fine. I've read about 70% of what I'm supposed to, which I don't think is bad at all.

    Also can I just say for the record, horizons, NMH = best. Ever.
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    (Original post by LostHorizons)
    O_O

    Is that a universal list for all new English applicants, or do each college give slightly different ones?
    I got a slightly different list back in the day (apparently it's still in use, though), but the texts and topics are roughly the same and they're similar in length.
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    (Original post by MSB)
    Ploop will perhaps defend the opposing viewpoint better than myself, but I think it can be daft to risk the dangers of "intentionally veering away from the predictable" when you could 'do' "the predictable" better.
    Perhaps, and though this argument will now veer into murky territory of trying to quantify the probably unquantifiable, I do think talking about, say, The Lonely Londoners and Post-Colonial theory at 90% of what you can 'do' is probably going to be more impressive than 1984 at 100%.

    Of course, it's only a danger if you don't have anything else to talk about, in which case you should stick to 1984 and it would be daft to do anything but.

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