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    the glossary of literary terms i recommend it has EVERYTHING in there and is quite precise. drama handook less so. the writing about literature book is actually quite useful. it depends whether you want to spend an extra tenner or so on each one
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    (Original post by Bambi2803)
    the glossary of literary terms i recommend it has EVERYTHING in there and is quite precise. drama handook less so. the writing about literature book is actually quite useful. it depends whether you want to spend an extra tenner or so on each one
    In a way, the glossary seems kind of an empty purchase but, at the same time, I can see it'd be useful to be able to cite it in some essays. (e.g. if the essay were "Is x really a tragedy?" or "how far does y transcend the traditions of its genre?" then you could refer to the definition and relate it to the text.) Hmm. I guess my mother is paying for them all this time around. How conflicted I am, how terribly conflicted.
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    Well between reading list, student accommodation and uni stuff - goodbye summer job money
    American short stories are pretty good on the up
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    Have you guys all seen the info for new English students on the department website?

    Here it is for those of you who haven't read it.

    On Monday 12 October please call in to the English Departmental Office, room L133 (on the first floor of Langwith College), and
    • provide us with a passport sized photograph with your name written on the back
    • collect an information pack.

    Also, during the first week of term, you must
    • see your supervisor (you’ll find his/her name in your information pack)
    • attend the preliminary meeting for your “Approaches to Literature” seminar group
    • attend Departmental introductory talks on Wednesday and Friday.

    Teaching begins in the second week of term.

    More detailed information about all the above will be sent out to you by email before the start of term; it will also be in your information pack.
    Exciting. I have a load of old passport photos sitting around but I think I might go get some new, hopefully less hideous, ones for uni.
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    @Archly - It's great that you don't completely agree. Disagreement makes for more interesting conversation, right?

    I got into short stories mid-GCSE when I picked up Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris, which was also the first time I realised there was more to her than vaguely-erotic foody romance. She's also far less excessively descriptive in them - they seem more finely crafted than her novels. Her view of short stories - taking her longer to write than a novel chapter - influenced my take. I think their cohesiveness appeals to me; that you're absorbing it all in one sitting means you can track the themes and patterns more readily than perhaps you can with a novel.

    Not dissimilar to how you termed it, I almost see them as an exercise in analysis.

    I hadn't checked the site for the wider reading books. I will now, I think. Thank you for drawing my attention to it.

    As for the reference books, I haven't dipped into them yet.

    ...I haven't heard of Salt Publishing. I'm going to be googling, aren't I? I like the Norton critical editions, myself - I guiltily indulged in the Beowulf one. Think it's going to prove useful.

    @Red_Wedge - What about Sloaner? And people not displaying their gender. You're not our FIRST male poster, but you're most welcome! I applied with my three As already under my belt (took a year out as well) and received my unconditional fairly promptly. Best of luck to you. : )
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    This thread suggests that I'll almost certainly be one of the most poorly-read on our course :p: ! I've yet to tackle the reading list, but will try to focus in the next couple of weeks.

    Of course, I fully expect still to be frantically page-turning/skim-reading at quieter moments during fresher's week ...
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    ^ See? Other male English students. : D

    *squints* Archly, I can't tell if that's a pretty piece or origami or a knitted beret or what in your icon, but it's pretty.

    Reading Freud's Uncanny in the garden (blast from A2 here) - just popping on to double-check what other things they advise from the theory and criticism anthology.

    Currently having am-I-going-to-be-motivated-enough tummy-twisting moments.

    Oh - just occurred to me. Does anyone use MSN?
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    how are people tackling the criticism?
    Its only the first I've tried but I'm finding the Sidney 'Apology For Poetry' hardgoing and I think it's going to take me forever. Anyone got any opinions or comforting news that the others aren't so bad?
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    (Original post by Chaiteafairy)
    @Archly - It's great that you don't completely agree. Disagreement makes for more interesting conversation, right?

    I got into short stories mid-GCSE when I picked up Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris, which was also the first time I realised there was more to her than vaguely-erotic foody romance. She's also far less excessively descriptive in them - they seem more finely crafted than her novels. Her view of short stories - taking her longer to write than a novel chapter - influenced my take. I think their cohesiveness appeals to me; that you're absorbing it all in one sitting means you can track the themes and patterns more readily than perhaps you can with a novel.

    Not dissimilar to how you termed it, I almost see them as an exercise in analysis.

    I hadn't checked the site for the wider reading books. I will now, I think. Thank you for drawing my attention to it.

    As for the reference books, I haven't dipped into them yet.

    ...I haven't heard of Salt Publishing. I'm going to be googling, aren't I? I like the Norton critical editions, myself - I guiltily indulged in the Beowulf one. Think it's going to prove useful.
    Your take on short stories is really interesting. Mine, like yours, is definitely shaped by the short story collections I've read and enjoyed most. The first short stories I really loved were Haruki Murakami's but over the past few years most of my experiences with short stories have been from themed anthologies rather than the work of one author & I think that's definitely affected my view of the form.

    The wider reading's basically texts it's good to have read as a lit student, I think. There's no pressure to read them but it's a nice list, really.

    Salt Publishing are an independent publisher, specialising in poetry but they also publish short stories and other things. Their poetry editions are gorgeous, especially the hardbacks. I don't think I have any Norton critical editions, I don't think. They sound as though they could be useful though. I'm just being shallow.

    (Original post by Chaiteafairy)
    *squints* Archly, I can't tell if that's a pretty piece or origami or a knitted beret or what in your icon, but it's pretty.
    It is a knitted beret! I made it for a friend of mine as a leaving for uni present. I do make origami as well though. I'm pretty crafty. (:

    (Original post by Dissonance.)
    This thread suggests that I'll almost certainly be one of the most poorly-read on our course :p: ! I've yet to tackle the reading list, but will try to focus in the next couple of weeks.

    Of course, I fully expect still to be frantically page-turning/skim-reading at quieter moments during fresher's week ...
    I've barely started on the reading list, believe me. I just don't want to read books now and then find it's 3 months before they're relevant. (Or, at least, that's my excuse.)
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    I already have a mental note to check out Haruki Murakami, if only because I feel wretched to have brought (and dissected for the photography) a diary in the sales with quotes from his novels.

    The only themed collections of short stories I've read have been more contemporary, fantasy tales, while I was in New Zealand. Hopelessly indulgent, and great for it. To wind-down I still read children's/young adult literature, and the Firebird book I had to leave in the country (I got about half-way through it on the last of my bus journeys) was comforting for this. I insisted on bringing Dark Alchemy home with me. Definitely obsessed with the figure of the wizard, I think.

    On a more... sophisticated level, Daphne du Maurier and H.G. Wells are probably the two I've read most, the former more than the latter. Then there were all sorts while I was studying the Gothic. Oh, Susan Hill, too many times for comfort!

    I'm friends with a woman - the mother of one of my littlest sister's friends - who studied English at Sussex as an older student, and she said in passing that the first term of Uni is all about teaching you methods and tactics to filter... useful information from the useless in your reading. So the first term is also spent beginning to work on wider-reading, as well. (She was camping with us, and talked a lot about Titus while she was letting me make a mess of her pots and pans discovering the best way to make popcorn on an open fire.) It's not like we're going to be able to get through all of it - at least, I won't; I read steadily but thoughtfully - but it'll be interesting picking and choosing.

    Whee! Craftiness! I was late to shine in English because I thought - along with everyone else who knew me - I was going to go on to art school. I only remember how to make a crane and a simple box, though, when it comes to origami. (I've got photos I need to upload of some pottery I painted that's been glazed...!)

    ...I guess we'll be re-reading things as well.

    @Laura - I surprised myself by finding critical essays interesting and enlightening enough to keep me hooked, even if I've had to read passages over several times in order to get my head around ideas expressed in an unfamiliar way. (I've read the word "penis" so many times today it's printed in indelible ink across my frontal lobe, accompanied by a crude doodle of the Roman phalloi~) Try reading it aloud, or else flip through the contents list and first read anything that grabs you interest immediately?

    I know this post is getting long, but I'd also like to say I'm thrilled to bits how well this thread is going. xD
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    I love the American short stories book. and getting through sidney atm he's not so bad and when you see where he's going it's ok. it helps that his style of writing reminds me of cicero and so i can see where a particuarly waffly point is going (pro caelio anyone?)

    In addition.... short stories. tobias wolff is a must. as is saki, as is f scott fitzgerald.
    for poetry you can't beat faber & faber
    I like reading curled up on my bed with a cup of coffee.... unfortunately i have to read at work on my break today so not happy !
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    (Original post by Chaiteafairy)
    I already have a mental note to check out Haruki Murakami, if only because I feel wretched to have brought (and dissected for the photography) a diary in the sales with quotes from his novels.

    The only themed collections of short stories I've read have been more contemporary, fantasy tales, while I was in New Zealand. Hopelessly indulgent, and great for it. To wind-down I still read children's/young adult literature, and the Firebird book I had to leave in the country (I got about half-way through it on the last of my bus journeys) was comforting for this. I insisted on bringing Dark Alchemy home with me. Definitely obsessed with the figure of the wizard, I think.

    On a more... sophisticated level, Daphne du Maurier and H.G. Wells are probably the two I've read most, the former more than the latter. Then there were all sorts while I was studying the Gothic. Oh, Susan Hill, too many times for comfort!

    I'm friends with a woman - the mother of one of my littlest sister's friends - who studied English at Sussex as an older student, and she said in passing that the first term of Uni is all about teaching you methods and tactics to filter... useful information from the useless in your reading. So the first term is also spent beginning to work on wider-reading, as well. (She was camping with us, and talked a lot about Titus while she was letting me make a mess of her pots and pans discovering the best way to make popcorn on an open fire.) It's not like we're going to be able to get through all of it - at least, I won't; I read steadily but thoughtfully - but it'll be interesting picking and choosing.

    Whee! Craftiness! I was late to shine in English because I thought - along with everyone else who knew me - I was going to go on to art school. I only remember how to make a crane and a simple box, though, when it comes to origami. (I've got photos I need to upload of some pottery I painted that's been glazed...!)

    ...I guess we'll be re-reading things as well.
    Murakami's pretty good. I read a lot of his books while on holiday in Scotland in 2004 and really enjoyed them. I've read some of his others as they've come out since then. I'd recommend the novels Dance, Dance, Dance & Kafka on the Shore and the short story collection The Elephant Vanishes if you want a place to start.

    You're never too old for children's books, definitely. I kinda missed out on YA books at the time but have since had some really good ones pointed out to me. I've not read any Wells or du Maurier - though I did once catch the end of a radio play version of My Cousin Rachel and thought it was pretty insane.

    I know what you mean about reading slowly but thoughtfully. I hate skim reading. I can do it but I much prefer to take it all in. There's no joy in reading something if you aren't going to pay attention to the details.

    Craftiness is great. I just love making something new out of a (relatively) raw material. I'm not much of an artist but I love creative pursuits. Why did you decide against art school, out of interest?


    (Original post by Bambi2803)
    I love the American short stories book. and getting through sidney atm he's not so bad and when you see where he's going it's ok. it helps that his style of writing reminds me of cicero and so i can see where a particuarly waffly point is going (pro caelio anyone?)

    In addition.... short stories. tobias wolff is a must. as is saki, as is f scott fitzgerald.
    for poetry you can't beat faber & faber
    I like reading curled up on my bed with a cup of coffee.... unfortunately i have to read at work on my break today so not happy !
    I actually don't like Fitzgerald's short stories that much. I read a collection of some of them recently and didn't really get into it. I feel really blasphemous but I don't know. Gatsby was alright but I didn't love that either. I definitely agree about F&F though. Their poetry books are lovely.


    I'm off to bed now to read Alan Hollinghurst's The Swimming-Pool Library. I need to finish it before I can start on the reading list in earnest.
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    Well, I also figure that if you read something rigorously the first time round, at least for studying purposes, you don't have to read it repeatedly to understand it. One of our teachers made a pretty backhanded comment - "You don't deserve to get an A unless you've read it at least three times", which made me cringe. Re-reading most books - within the space of a year, at least - is dire drudgery. There are some exceptions (I'd happily read The Poisonwood Bible a third time), however in most cases I have to resort to reading aloud to actually feel like I'm getting anywhere and not want to bash my head against the desk/pillow. Pillow's a bit more sympathetic.

    Really, I'm never going to be able to forget sitting in the bath and doing voices for Conrad's Heart of Darkness ( "The horror! The horror!" ) because I couldn't stand to get through it any other way. I then promptly dropped it in the bathwater the day before the actual exam...

    I decided against art school because I wanted to do something more academic first. Several people I spoke to - including my Godfather, whose a professor and paints a lot - reckoned it was the right course to take. Three years isn't likely to affect my ability (especially not if I try to keep it bubbling on the back-burner) and I can come back to it. There's an idea that I'm going to write and illustrate children's stories. : )

    Another question for you guys. Where do you buy your books? Borders? Waterstones? Or do you go online to find the best deals? Are you fortunate enough to live near a good, bespoke bookshop? Something that's reported to be sadly on the decline. Do you buy secondhand? Or rather, if you see something that catches your eye secondhand, how good are you at resisting temptation?
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    This thread suggests that I'll almost certainly be one of the most poorly-read on our course ! I've yet to tackle the reading list, but will try to focus in the next couple of weeks.
    Do not worry about it - I've been so busy and have yet to properly sit down and tackle them! But we've got a month yet, no fear
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    It makes me panic that in this thread you all sound so much more intelligent than myself... haha... I'm slowly working my way through the reading list, but with far less enthuiasm than most, it would appear :P
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    I buy books on random impulses from waterstones and shelter, when i know what i'm getting from amazon. the waterstones shops near me (there are 3!) each have different poetry groups. So for example the one on George street edinburgh has all the works of christopher logue but if I want george herbert i have to go to west end edinburgh and east end edinburgh has lots of classical poetry. to give a random example. It's an excuse to get a coffee and sit there and read and watch the world go by.........
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    (Original post by Chaiteafairy)
    ...
    Definitely. I don't mind reading things multiple times if I like them but I generally only reread relevant passages rather than the whole book if I'm studying it.

    I didn't have much trouble getting into any of my A Level texts. Emma wasn't greatly appealing but I had a great teacher for that so I didn't mind too much. I did have audiobook versions of some of the texts that we were studying so I could listen to them again whilst doing other things.

    Ooh, that sounds nice. My personal ambition of the moment is to become an academic and come up with pointless theories about intertextuality forever. (Something like that anyway.)

    For the reading list, I bought the texts from Amazon because I wanted the suggested editions. It pretty much depends though. Sometimes I want a particular book and will buy it the first place I find it. Other times, yeah, I'll hit up the amnesty book shop or head into the city centre to Waterstones or Borders. Depends. I don't know of any bookshops with particularly good poetry sections though. It's pretty lamentable. And I can resist anything except temptation. Actually, that's a lie, I'm fairly good at resisting but I do have a shelf full of books I've not read yet and I've not sworn of buying more so...

    (Original post by electro.retro)
    It makes me panic that in this thread you all sound so much more intelligent than myself... haha... I'm slowly working my way through the reading list, but with far less enthuiasm than most, it would appear :P
    Poppycock! I've barely started on the reading list. I've read 5 short stories, a random assortment of poems and a mostly forgotten Beckett play (over a year ago). The only thing greater than my enthusiasm is my unwillingness to sit down and actually read the books. I wouldn't worry about it. Everyone has their own unique study style.
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    (Original post by electro.retro)
    It makes me panic that in this thread you all sound so much more intelligent than myself... haha... I'm slowly working my way through the reading list, but with far less enthuiasm than most, it would appear :P
    Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I decided on literature for different reasons to most, and I reckon I have at least as little enthusiasm as you do Hence I rarely post in this thread, as I feel drastically out of place (and my depth).

    Happy days. I'm looking forward to it though.
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    (Original post by sloaner)
    Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I decided on literature for different reasons to most, and I reckon I have at least as little enthusiasm as you do Hence I rarely post in this thread, as I feel drastically out of place (and my depth).

    Happy days. I'm looking forward to it though.
    Oh, now I am intrigued. Why did you pick literature?
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    (Original post by archly)
    Oh, now I am intrigued. Why did you pick literature?
    I am actually an alien and my intention is to study your human ways of writing so I can propagandize your species with our superior thinking, in order to subjugate you and succeed in my ultimate goal of UNIVERSAL DOMINATION.


    But really, I hadn't considered literature until AS/A-Level when somehow I became really good at it and got mega mega marks in the exams (not boasting here) I enjoyed it but wasn't certain about studying it further. So I chose Chemistry at Edinburgh. Oops. It was awful; I hated it; bad decision. Hence I stopped going to lectures and just had fun (and got drunk and shopped:yep:) until my accommodation was up- since I had to pay until Easter at that point.

    AND SO, I reapplied and decided to go in completely the opposite direction and do English after all. After swift research and one personal statement written in 3 days to make the deadline, here I am :rolleyes:
    Where it will take me, no-one knows. But at least I'm certain this course is one I will enjoy.

    By "less enthusiasm" I merely meant to sit down and read. I would prefer to eat or drink or socialise.. but then I imagine so would a lot of people

    Go gentle on me kidz :o:
 
 
 
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