Katiecartwright
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I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
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Gingerbread101
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(Original post by Katiecartwright)
I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
I'm not studying Lit but I have a friend who is, and she was sent a required reading list. If you can get hold of one of these, then just go through it and read as much as you can. Things like the Bible will be for more contextual references and shouldn't be your priority - if you haven't read many classics then you should focus on those.
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Uncle Tom #2
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(Original post by Katiecartwright)
I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
4chan.org/lit/
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JOROPH
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Depending on what uni's you're thinking of going to, try and get a hold of a reading list. There may be some available online. For my uni, Paradise Lost by John Milton was a text we studied for several weeks and kept coming back to. Some others include Jane Eyre, The Tempest, The Odyssey, Beowulf etc. First year will be reading a wide variety of texts covering a large time period, then your second and third year you will generally be specialising and focusing on the time period that you're most interested in. Hope this helps!
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Katiecartwright)
I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
I personally believe you LITERALLY don't need to worry about this. You'll become more of an experienced reader with patience and with your uni degree. You shouldn't go into a Lit degree thinking "I need to read XYZ books from ABC authors". You should read whatever you want to read, rather than for the sake of reading it. It's fine to look it up a least, but there's no need to pressure yourself in thinking you've got to read all what's on a list. If you have a favourite genre. theme or period of literature, maybe start with that instead.

Your tutors won't have time to ask you about "really famous" or "classic" authors unless they are a snob. All lecturers or professional ones (imo) should value all types of literature and not just well known or canonical literature.They do understand you've just come from A-levels, so they aren't expecting you to have voluntarily read Chaucer, all of Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte, Dickens, Hardy, Eliot, Gaskel, Fitzgerald, Baldwin, etc.

The one thing that I regret is when I went into first year is not reading the course texts on my modules. If you do it over summer then when it gets to the semester, it makes it that much easier to understand the 2nd time round. A lot of pre-uni Lit students underestimate how intense reading can become in 1st year and if they don't practice good reading (no matter if it does not count for first year), then when it comes to 2nd year, they seem to struggle.

You definitely do NOT need to read the Bible but if you're an atheist or whatnot, they do say the Bible is the greatest story ever told. I tried to read it as I study Lit and Philosophy at uni, but failed miserably because it's so ridiculously boring (and I'm a "so-called" Christian!).

You've probably got about 3 months until uni, so if you're still wanting to read outside of uni just for the sake of it, read smaller novels, shorter plays and maybe pick up a poem anthology if you wish.

My personal favourite short texts include:
Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde (novel)The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks (novel)Angels in America, Tony Kushner (drama)A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams (drama)Equus, Peter Shafter (drama)
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Fox Corner
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(Original post by Katiecartwright)
I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
All this is great advice, and I'd add to try and get started on a little bit of shakespeare. You've probably done some at A-Level, and you'll almost definitely be doing a module on him at Uni (if you're doing a straight English course). You don't have to have read all the histories, but if you read/watch a few of the lighter comedies and try and get your head around it you'll feel much more confident in those classes. Plus there is loads of great Shakespeare stuff on the BBC and iPlayer at the moment to help you learn a bit of context
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Platopus
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(Original post by Katiecartwright)
I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
Universities usually have a link to a recommended reading list on the course page. If not, contact admissions and ask for one.
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eddso
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(Original post by Katiecartwright)
I plan to do English Literature at university this September, but it's suddenly occurring to me that I'm not all that well read. If all goes well I'll be going to a pretty decent uni and I'm worried that everyone around me will be so much more experienced than me- and even that the tutors might ask me my opinion of a really famous, classic author and I'd just have nothing to say! I'm predicted an A* in Lit so I get by okay, but I haven't read much generally for leisure... I've also been looking at university reading lists and I saw one say they expect you to have read the Bible! I guess for intertextual references etc, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Is anyone else in the same position? (please)
Literally in the same boat

I get by in Lit fine and am hopefully going to Bristol uni to do English, but I've read pretty much nothing except my exam texts! For my personal statement it was full of poems that I had read 5 minutes before because I hadn't read any decent novels!

I'm trying to frantically read some before uni; so far I have read The Monk (a shocking gothic text by Matthew Lewis) and Northanger Abbey, and now I'm reading The Go Between
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Fox Corner
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(Original post by eddso)
Literally in the same boat

I get by in Lit fine and am hopefully going to Bristol uni to do English, but I've read pretty much nothing except my exam texts! For my personal statement it was full of poems that I had read 5 minutes before because I hadn't read any decent novels!

I'm trying to frantically read some before uni; so far I have read The Monk (a shocking gothic text by Matthew Lewis) and Northanger Abbey, and now I'm reading The Go Between
Did you like The Monk? I thought it was really interesting. Sounds like you are into gothic novels which is my favourite genre :yy:
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