Musings: Picking books and proseminar

Hello readers!

I’ve been very quiet for a long time. Apologies for that. The silence is due to two things: 1) Holidays have made me super lazy and phlegmatic, and 2) nothing has really happened. I’ve been reading very slowly, which might be due to the killer reading schedule I was on for the Victorian novel bit of the proseminar and couldn’t really shake once that was over. You get used to having a deadline with books, and it’s nice to get things read, but that also takes away some of the enjoyment. Much depends on the book, too, of course: if it sucks you in like a really good book does, you’ll read it pretty fast anyway.

I tried reading John Gardner’s Moriarty. When after six days I wasn’t even halfway through and found myself groaning whenever the book caught my eye, I decided to give it up. I hate to give up on a book, but it just wasn’t working. Sorry, Mr Gardner – your style wasn’t for me, at least not now. I’ll probably try again sometime in the future, when I actually feel like it.

Instead, I returned to the Victorians in the form of Sherlock Holmes, and it felt infinitely better. So I made a decision: this year, I will try and not force myself to read anything I don’t feel like reading. I can reread all I like, pick anything I want from the library without thinking about the few dozen books that are waiting for me at home, or, if I so choose, read several books at a time. The last one is a huge decision, because I’ve been reluctant to do that for ages. Uni courses forced me to do it in the fall term – that’s what you get, taking so many literature courses that include weekly reading – and I’m now convinced that it’s okay.

One reason for reading for my own pleasure whatever the heck I feel like reading is the proseminar and, consequently, the dreaded bachelor’s thesis (or candidate’s essay or prosem paper, I don’t really know what it’s supposed to be called) which I will need to hand in around the end of April. My chosen work is William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, and my focus on the romance plot in it. Yup, that’s right. I’m going to be analyzing the whole George-Amelia-William situation. It’s going to be heaps of fun, if only I could manage to decide from where to start…

Spring term starts next Monday, and I’m thrilled to get back to routine and lectures and actual studying. The third period – the first half of the term – is a particular delight: I have only four lectures a week, all of them in English! This includes prosem (surprise!), Academic Writing with one of my favourite lecturers and a really good friend, and a course on Medieval and Early Modern Ireland.

So if I manage only end of month posts and maybe one other post a month, you’ll know why that is. And it might happen that the other post is ranting about research or Vanity Fair or writing. For that, I apologise in advance. Then again, the post titles will tell you what they include and you can skip them.

I still haven’t decided my bi-monthly theme for this year. I suppose I could do Authors, Book-to-Film Adaptations, or Book Covers. We’ll see. For the moment, I’m leaning towards authors.

This post is ridiculously long. If you got to the end, I salute you! There’s no proper reward for doing that, though – sorry about that. Instead you get a picture of my background reading pile. (Had to take one back to the library as someone had reserved it – but I’ll either reserve it again or buy my own, because it’s a very interesting book! There’s also a couple more books I need to pick up from the library.)

Prosem research

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3 Comments

Filed under Musings

3 responses to “Musings: Picking books and proseminar

  1. Don’t apologise for less posts! It’s your spare time after all, just make sure you enjoy it – even if that means doing absolutely nothing (sounds lovely to me!)
    Lynn 😀

  2. I see you’ve got a copy of ‘Beyond Heaving Bosoms’ – I read that quite recently, what did you think if it?

    • I haven’t actually had the chance to read it yet, but I’ve leafed it through and giggled myself silly over the games and Choose Your Own Adventure and all that. It seems very good, but as it’s not likely to be all that relevant for the essay I’ve been putting it off. How did you find it?

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