I have a first class modern language degree from a good uni but feel uneducated Watch

Anonymous #1
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I attended a state school where the focus was always on science rather than teaching a classic education. If I look back, it's pathetic what we studied in English Literature: An Inspector Calls, a few works of Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird--I remember little beyond that as it always seemed we would dedicate an entire year to a book.

We never studied the classics: now I have familiarised myself at least with the titles and authors of some of the Ancient Greek/Roman texts, but when I started university I didn't even know what the Odyssey was. I was familiar with some of its content.

I am unable to discuss the work of eminent philosophers, composers. A history of art module at university enabled me to at least know a little about artists.

I feel there are so many things I don't know about. Poetry and classic texts are the first things that spring to mind. Harder still, I want to be a writer. I feel sometimes as though I don't quite understand the connections people are making and it really troubles me. In hindsight I often wonder whether people were sniggering inside their heads at my ignorance.

I know I can read about these things in order to fill in the gaps, and I do, but it feels there is forever more to learn.
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Anonymous #1
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In order to get any answers I should probably ask a question—does anybody else feel like this?

Can you recommend any free online course for filling in the gaps?
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Anonymous #1
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303Pharma
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Download Kindle app. Anything out of copyright is usually free. Or try Project Gothenburg.
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the bear
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i am a scientist & artist. i have managed to sync both hemispheres of my brain to produce a creative and analytic gestalt.

please check out my blog:

www.longspoon.wordpress.com

:borat:
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by 303Pharma)
Download Kindle app. Anything out of copyright is usually free. Or try Project Gothenburg.
I have the kindle app, I just don’t know where to start really. Would be good if there’s a book specifically for catching up eg an anthology which contains a bit of everything from important classic texts/Poets/philosophers and explanations.

Read my way through a lot of Russian, French, Italian and English literature, read a bit on philosophy (would prefer something more succinct), and really have no idea where to start with ancient texts. Currently reading about 80 books a year but still feel behind.
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Notoriety
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It is the idiot who thinks he knows everything. It truly is the case the more knowledgeable and educated you become the more you are aware of how little you know.

Insert famous quote I cba to google.
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303Pharma
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I have the kindle app, I just don’t know where to start really. Would be good if there’s a book specifically for catching up eg an anthology which contains a bit of everything from important classic texts/Poets/philosophers and explanations.

Read my way through a lot of Russian, French, Italian and English literature, read a bit on philosophy (would prefer something more succinct), and really have no idea where to start with ancient texts. Currently reading about 80 books a year but still feel behind.
I'm a full time university student, but have always been upfront about my age (middle aged), and carefull what discusions I get involved. Any point is I can actually remember a time before the internet was widely ued, outside of buisness, research.

I remember relying on 'list books'. EG 1001 books you must read before you die, 501 must-know speeches etc.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
It is the idiot who thinks he knows everything. It truly is the case the more knowledgeable and educated you become the more you are aware of how little you know.

Insert famous quote I cba to google.
That makes sense, but still doesn’t help me participate in conversations about philosophy, poetry, classics etc or understand references to them in contemporary lit. Is it normal to sometimes feel like you can’t follow what people are talking about? Or to not feel qualified enough to talk about stuff you have read?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by 303Pharma)
I'm a full time university student, but have always been upfront about my age (middle aged), and carefull what discusions I get involved. Any point is I can actually remember a time before the internet was widely ued, outside of buisness, research.

I remember relying on 'list books'. EG 1001 books you must read before you die, 501 must-know speeches etc.
Thanks, I'm 26 though I knew mature students at my university; they were among some of the most motivated and lacking in confidence. As a result, they usually did better on essays than their classmates.

Can you recommend any titles from that list that helped you? Travelling with a small bag so only download books for Kindle.
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303Pharma
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Can you recommend any titles from that list that helped you? Travelling with a small bag so only download books for Kindle.
Sure, the 1001 books list starts off with 80 pages on pre 1800's literature, the classics. Once I got internet I checked them out on Wikipedia, to get some overview of the content. Only ones I can recall actually reading are;

The Thousand and One Nights - Anon
Monkey: A Journey to the West - Wu Cheng'en
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Candide - Voltaire
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by 303Pharma)
Sure, the 1001 books list starts off with 80 pages on pre 1800's literature, the classics. Once I got internet I checked them out on Wikipedia, to get some overview of the content. Only ones I can recall actually reading are;

The Thousand and One Nights - Anon
Monkey: A Journey to the West - Wu Cheng'en
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Candide - Voltaire
Thanks, read Robinson Crusoe and Voltaire. The Thousand and One Nights is on my reading list.

Are there any philosophical texts in the list?
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303Pharma
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No, they're all works of fiction.
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Theory321
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As far as ancient Greek texts go, the most important ones are obviously the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer. I'd also suggest reading the Theban plays by Sophocles, in particular: Oedipus Rex and Antigone (the other Theban play is Oedipus at Colonus). After that you could try some plays by Aristophanes, for example The Frogs.
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Theory321
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As for Roman authors, my favourite books are:
Pliny - The Letters of Pliny the Younger. Covers a wide variety of different topics, including murder and a volcanic eruption.
Apuleius - The Golden Ass. A funny and readable Roman novel.
Catullus - The Poems of Catullus. I like his poems about Lesbia the best, some of the others are vulgar or rude.
Virgil - The Aeneid Book 2 (lines 1 to 56). Aeneas tells Dido about the fall of Troy.
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username3440160
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Get a proper degree
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FairySparkleGirl
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I attended a state school where the focus was always on science rather than teaching a classic education. If I look back, it's pathetic what we studied in English Literature: An Inspector Calls, a few works of Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird--I remember little beyond that as it always seemed we would dedicate an entire year to a book.

We never studied the classics: now I have familiarised myself at least with the titles and authors of some of the Ancient Greek/Roman texts, but when I started university I didn't even know what the Odyssey was. I was familiar with some of its content.

I am unable to discuss the work of eminent philosophers, composers. A history of art module at university enabled me to at least know a little about artists.

I feel there are so many things I don't know about. Poetry and classic texts are the first things that spring to mind. Harder still, I want to be a writer. I feel sometimes as though I don't quite understand the connections people are making and it really troubles me. In hindsight I often wonder whether people were sniggering inside their heads at my ignorance.

I know I can read about these things in order to fill in the gaps, and I do, but it feels there is forever more to learn.
I've always felt like this and it's a healthy way to be, because there's always more to learn in life; academically as well as interpersonally. With the subjects you feel you don't know much about, devise your own courses of study/read books. Just make it your priority to read the subjects you've always wanted to know about. You can take formal lifelong learning courses but you can learn a lot on your own too. I think you'll cope–you sound naturally inquiring 😊
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by FairySparkleGirl)
I've always felt like this and it's a healthy way to be, because there's always more to learn in life; academically as well as interpersonally. With the subjects you feel you don't know much about, devise your own courses of study/read books. Just make it your priority to read the subjects you've always wanted to know about. You can take formal lifelong learning courses but you can learn a lot on your own too. I think you'll cope–you sound naturally inquiring 😊
Thanks--that's what I'm trying to do with literature right now--I'm following my own self-made course.

Harder to know what to read with philosophy as I find philosophical essays very dense and would probably rather read summaries of their ideas and important extracts.

No idea where to start with poetry.
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Realitysreflexx
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not sure how reading classics would make you feel educated, rather then obsess over the past learn what is happening TODAY read Fire and Fury lol
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
not sure how reading classics would make you feel educated, rather then obsess over the past learn what is happening TODAY read Fire and Fury lol
I do keep up-to-date with a lot of what is happening today, mainly through literature and transparently subjective opinion pieces as I (usually) dislike the manner in which the journalists provide the reader with 'entertainment' in the form of schadenfreude by exploiting individuals who have recently/are currently experiencing trauma. That said, I probably wouldn't feel that way about Fire & Fury which is about Trump :P

I love Cormac McCarthy whose work is pretty pertinent to contemporary issues such as violence, the environment etc.

I think that in order to discuss literature (or at least be taken seriously) you do need to understand connections to classical lit. It's a shame in a way as the cut-off point is so arbitrary; I might be more compelled to read Sanskrit or Persian literature in translation, but that's the way of the world.
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