I always post the workload I’m dealing with on here in the holiday weeks. I like to think it balances out the fact that most of my regular posts seem to obfuscate rather than explicate the day-to-day life of my English degree. See, I couldn’t even write that sentence without sounding like a poorly-written scientist in a children’s cartoon. That’s life imitating art. Well, no murk or mire today. These are the deadlines.
1) 12th May, Detective Fiction essay, 5000 words: This is my largest essay of the semester, and I’m using it to discuss the portrayal of the countryside in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. I’m gravitating around The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), but also drawing from some of the very best short stories in the canon, including ‘The Speckled Band’ (1892) and ‘The Devil’s Foot’ (1910). The main question of this project is ‘countryside, why you so violent?‘
2) 16th May, Post-war to Postmodern essay, 3000 words: A slightly shorter essay, but one that must deal with some very wide issues. It’s an analysis of loss in selected works by Graham Greene and Phillip Larkin, whom some of you may recognise as writers who deal almost exclusively in depressing, loss-filled works. I mean, Graham Greene’s name even has the colour ‘green’ in it but all it makes me think of is grey[ham Greene]. Sorry, that was stupid. Fortunately, I’ve found a lot to discuss between these two cynically romantic/romantically cynical writers.
3) 23rd May, Victorian to Modern exam, three hours: It’s all happening in May. The last exam of my degree, this follows much the same three-hour, two-question, four-author paradigm we’ve seen in the past. Like Romantics and Victorians last semester, the questions are released two days before the exam itself, in an attempt to encourage ’80s training montages. Before you think, and yes, I know what you were about to think, that you can just skip out those difficult Modernists, know that this is quite impossible. Everyone has to mention a Modernist. To quote T.S. Eliot, “sucks to be you, Tereu”. But I like a challenge.
In the meantime, all that remains to be said is Happy Holidays, Happy Easter, Buona Pasqua, and remember that, like all things delicious, you owe chocolate Easter eggs to the nineteenth century.