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Oxford English Application: Books to mention?

I have a list of books to mention but I'm worried they are too basic! Is anyone in a position to give me some advice?
Reply 1
It's not about the books you pick per se, but rather about what you draw from them! In a personal statement maybe think about what aspect you found interesting, why, and why you find it important? Also if you can find similarities/ differences in other books you read, and what you gained from this? Hope this helps and isn't too vague 🙂 It might be a good idea to look online for other example personal statements to gauge how they're structured and how people talk about literature in them!
Original post by Anonymous
I have a list of books to mention but I'm worried they are too basic! Is anyone in a position to give me some advice?
Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction Eco, The Name of the Rose

Fisher, Ghosts of my Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures

Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare

Lewis, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Nashe, The Unfortunate Traveller

Nuttall, Shakespeare the Thinker

Paterson, Reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A New Commentary

Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World Stewart,

On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection


Frank O’Hara

John Ashbery

W.S. Graham

Lorine Neidecker

Joan Murray

Geoffrey Hill

Denise Riley
Reply 3
What English tutors want is to see that you love reading and literature and that you can derive something interesting to say from what you have read. They stress this over and over at open days.

So put books that genuinely inspire you, not ones that someone else has listed or said are impressive or tick a box. Read for pleasure beyond any set syllabus and curriculum.

Bear in mind that you may be asked at interview about the books you put down and it will be really obvious when you start being asked questions if you have just put them because you felt they looked good rather than that you had something to say about them.

Remember the personal statement is meant to be personal. Tutors can tell when your own voice and personality shines through.
Reply 4
I agree with the above comment. It's far better to immerse yourself in an author you really like and be able to talk about them and their work at an interview/on your PS, than try and impress by listing books you think make you sound intellectual. You also need to look at ELAT past papers and start practising some. You have to send in samples of your work too.
The list of books above ( sent by thegeek888) is absolutely not the type of thing they are looking for.

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