atkbm
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Hi, I applied for English and history combined. I don't really like classic books apart from the ones we do in school, because I don't enjoy reading them on my own. I mean, I've tried to read Pride and Prejudice and gave up. Should I be worried, because I have not read a single Austen novel and she's like the queen of British literature?:confused: I prefer historical or contemporary novels and I know most aren't literature-wise great. So am I in great trouble or is it going to be ok to go into uni without reading Austen?
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I got to say - it sounds like the problem isn't that you haven't read Jane Austen, but that you are applying to read English (albeit Joint Hons), but you don't seem to be a great literature fan.

(By the way, TLJAS was invented for people like yourself - see below)
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Mr Porter
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(Original post by atkbm)
Hi, I applied for English and history combined. I don't really like classic books apart from the ones we do in school, because I don't enjoy reading them on my own. I mean, I've tried to read Pride and Prejudice and gave up. Should I be worried, because I have not read a single Austen novel and she's like the queen of British literature?:confused: I prefer historical or contemporary novels and I know most aren't literature-wise great. So am I in great trouble or is it going to be ok to go into uni without reading Austen?
No. It's not a problem per se, because you'll find that most people - even if they study english lit - can't read for **** and have a very loose or basic grasp of the canon. The issue is that you'll find you'll need to read a lot of 'classics' to do an English degree, and in fact Austen is, on the whole, relatively straightforward to read compared to many of the great writers before Austen. Different people have various interests so it's not problematic if you don't like Austen, but I would certainly try to read up on Austen, why she is so influential and the main points of her books and whatnot. (I know a few people who listen to audiobooks of Austen, Dickens etc… because it's easier than actually reading it - and you lose very little in not reading the actual prose.)

What kind of authors do you like to read then?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I agree with what the others have said. Just wanna encourage you that you are not a bad person or a complete heathen. I for example did a whole Music degree at Oxford without ever having heard Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Which is kinda like saying you haven't read Shakespeare :erm: :hide: :teehee:
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The Empire Odyssey
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I feel for you OP! I tried to get through P&P, but I just couldn't bring myself to read it. It is not a crime to not like every classic there is. Some unis don't study Classical texts unless you choose an certain author or period in the Canon. But as the other person said, you should look up and read about why she is in the Literature Canon and why her prose writing was influential and is still read and studied in today's society.

If it helps, I hate Wuthering Heights :P
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atkbm
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(Original post by Cool_JordH)
I feel for you OP! I tried to get through P&P, but I just couldn't bring myself to read it. It is not a crime to not like every classic there is. Some unis don't study Classical texts unless you choose an certain author or period in the Canon. But as the other person said, you should look up and read about why she is in the Literature Canon and why her prose writing was influential and is still read and studied in today's society.

If it helps, I hate Wuthering Heights :P
Wuthering heights is another book I failed to complete. I mean, with classics I prefer to watch the movies because the storyline/plots are great. And thanks for the advice I will be sure to do that.
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atkbm
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(Original post by Mr Porter)
No. It's not a problem per se, because you'll find that most people - even if they study english lit - can't read for **** and have a very loose or basic grasp of the canon. The issue is that you'll find you'll need to read a lot of 'classics' to do an English degree, and in fact Austen is, on the whole, relatively straightforward to read compared to many of the great writers before Austen. Different people have various interests so it's not problematic if you don't like Austen, but I would certainly try to read up on Austen, why she is so influential and the main points of her books and whatnot. (I know a few people who listen to audiobooks of Austen, Dickens etc… because it's easier than actually reading it - and you lose very little in not reading the actual prose.)

What kind of authors do you like to read then?
Well, lets just say modern and contemporary novelists particularly in the new adult, romance and historical novel area and many are far from literary greatness! But thank you I will read up on her!
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chardabest
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(Original post by atkbm)
Hi, I applied for English and history combined. I don't really like classic books apart from the ones we do in school, because I don't enjoy reading them on my own. I mean, I've tried to read Pride and Prejudice and gave up. Should I be worried, because I have not read a single Austen novel and she's like the queen of British literature?:confused: I prefer historical or contemporary novels and I know most aren't literature-wise great. So am I in great trouble or is it going to be ok to go into uni without reading Austen?
I only studied one Austen module throughout my whole English degree and despite the English department having specialised 18&19th Century literature tutors, they were not keen on us using Austen on discussion of the period. They preferred you to appreciate and use less-known literature and poetry.

Hope this helps
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Daniellejo.
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If you don't like classical texts in general then you might end up finding at lot of the course tedious. Especially when it comes to medieval stuff. :eek:. Obviously you don't have to like everything you study, but that might end up being a large chunk of it.

For the record I'm not a fan of a lot of earlier works. I personally hate Wuthering Heights for instance. I don't understand how anyone can't like Pride & Prejudice though. :heart:
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returnmigrant
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You don't have to have read Jane Austen to do an English degree but you do have to want to read classical literature - otherwise why are you bothering?

English Lit as a degree isnt just 'reading the books I like'. You can join a library to do that. Its about studying literature, the written word, in depth and at an advanced level. And to do that you will have to read genres of literature you haven't encountered before. If you aren't prepared to do that, then it suggests University really isn't the place for you.

Start by reading some of the books on this list https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/classic-literature. If you really can't be bothered to do that, then give up any idea of reading English at Uni.
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chardabest
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I think the key thing is that you are studying English and History, so may not get as much option as studying the core period texts as opposed to a straight English degree where you study the core periods alongside more relatively more interesting topics!
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