So I’ve done that thing that people sometimes do and gone and started a new blog.
I’ve had a personal Tumblr for nearly two years and devoted ridiculous amounts of time and energy to it, considering the fact it has all of 350 followers and a rather higher reblog to original content ratio than is completely desirable. Plus it’s really not a blog, it’s a Tumblr, with all pejorative connotations that go with the word; slightly wanky, rather self-involved, more style than substance.
BUT this new blog is going to change all that. I can’t promise it’s going to be any less wanky or self-involved, but let’s work on the substance issue, yeah? This blog has a subject (it’s books by the way, if you had somehow missed all the cues), it has a nice simple theme that separates reblogs (right-hand side) from original content (left-hand side), and it’s going to be super super popular. Right? Right?!
Okay, so the premise is:
That’s the plan, anyway. I won’t lie to you guys, I’m starting this little project because I’m back in Leeds, my hometown, for the summer and I have a good two to three months before I go back to St Andrews and university. Also I am currently unemployed, and it looks quite a lot like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. Plus I have a reading list to get through before September.
Oh and also? I really bloody love reading.#books #reading #lit
where the hell is the follow button?
Oh god, is there not one? Damnit!
I guess it might have to be done through the new “Add and Remove” people thing that’s on the side of the Dash. Just type rosareads into the box on this page.
Cheers for pointing this out, Licky!
Far from the Madding Crowd
Right, so let’s start exactly where you might expect; the book in my hand right now.
It’s Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd and it is, of course, not actually in my hand right now because I am typing.
The copy I have is published by Collins Classics, 2010, and I bought it for €3.50 in the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy in about April. Why? I hear you ask. Well, because it was €3.50 (just over £3 and about $5) and I’m a sucker for cheap books. With nice covers.
I’m on page 74 (of 429), so not very far in, but already enjoying it a whole lot. So much so that I’ve already written down a quote I liked from it. Because I’m wanky and pretentious like that. Its protagonist thus far has been Gabriel Oak, but as far as I can tell from the blurb, it’s mostly about Bathsheba Everdene who, in the eight chapters I’ve read, has basically been a total bitch and as ridiculous as her name.
Actually I was a bit worried when I saw the names of the main characters; Bathsheba Everdene, Gabriel Oak, Troy and Boldwood. They sounded somewhat Dickensian to me, and whilst I can appreciate Dickens as a great writer, his characters have always struck me as grotesque and cartoonish - I have a lot of trouble empathising with them. Fortunately this is not a problem Hardy seems to have; his characters are well-rounded and although slightly exaggerated, mostly realistic.
I’ve read Hardy’s poetry (mainly the war stuff) before, and tried Tess of the D’Urbervilles when I was about fourteen (didn’t get far), and frankly I’m not his biggest fan. But Far from the Madding Crowd is completely different in tone and style - certainly from his poetry, at least. It seems to have come from a happier man; it’s jovial, smart and relatively light-hearted, and although he tends to slip into aphorisms at the beginning of most chapters, I think I rather like it.
[On an only-very-slightly-related note, does the whole lower-case-for-‘little’-words-when-everything-else-is-capitalised thing annoy anyone else? I’m fully aware, as a grammar enthusiast (jesuschristihatemyself) that it should be Far from the Madding Crowd, but it doesn’t stop me from desperately wanting it to be Far From The Madding Crowd.]#books #reading #Far from the Madding Crowd #Thomas Hardy #lit
Hi Rosa. I'm currently doing my A's and I'm pretty much interested in English Literature. I have two questions for you:
Okay, so I’m going to assume “A’s” are A Levels and I’m just not down with the kids any more.
1) My course is very slightly different to many English Literature courses, because I’m doing my degree in Scotland. The Scottish system means you do four years (as opposed to three in England), and only in the last two do you study just English. Prior to that you do six modules per year, only two of which are English modules. Last year I did two Latin modules, an International Relations module and a Modern History module as well, for example. In terms of English itself, I was expected to read about one book or set of poem per week and attend three lectures and a tutorial per week on the related text. If you’ve studied English relatively extensively before then it’s not that much different - your analysis is just more in-depth and you’re expected to do a bit more outside reading for essays (journals, articles, secondary texts, criticism etc). If you have any aptitude for English then I doubt you’ll struggle with your early university studies.
2) It’s a complete fallacy that your degree “translates” into a specific job/jobs. The fact is that if you have a good degree from a good university then that’s what matters - far more than what the degree was in. This is especially true of English, where options for careers include journalism, business, education, publishing, marketing/advertising, management, any work in the media etcetcetc. Most jobs require further training anyway, so just consider your degree as your chance to study what you love as a foundation for further education or training.
Sorry if this was a bit too in-depth. May have got carried away. Hope I could help, though! And don’t be Anonymous next time!
“Bookaholics are the ones who start to feel uncomfortable and uneasy in another person’s house, and suddenly realize there are no bookshelves or magazines lying around. People who only own a telephone book and their high school yearbooks scare us.”
- Robert Lee Hadden (via bookoasis)
It’s called On The Bro’d, and as they put it themselves, it’s “Every sentence of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, retold for bros”. Which is just about the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard.
Check it out, I have extra pages on this blog:
First up is my Askbox, in which I would like you to put anything you feel like. Suggestions for what I should read, questions about what I’m reading, hatemail, whatever.
Secondly we have a little bio page, which allows me to be pleasingly narcissistic in the third person.
Third is my extensive reading list, so you guys can stalk my literary habits and critique my taste. Things will start being crossed out soonish. Hopefully.
And finally there’s a link to what is apparently the only bloody way to follow me thanks to this theme. Sorry it’s a two-step process, but I do like the theme, so tough stuff.#Highly important links everyone should want to click #lit
So my university (St Andrews, have I mentioned that before?) is finally redeveloping our concrete monstrosity of a library over the summer, and I’ve been clicking through the concept art for it. All looks very snazzy and shiny and mode-
There’s a café. I may never leave.#lit
“I would not be the person I am without the authors who made me what I am – the special ones, the wise ones, sometimes just the ones who got there first.”
- Neil Gaiman (via whimsicaldealings)
Gabriel Oak gets it.
So it turns out that despite all the overly-detailed and lengthy descriptions of idyllic countryside life that Hardy favours, I’m really rather enjoying Far from the Madding Crowd. I’m currently on page 273 (of 429), because my reading time keeps getting interrupted by this irritating thing called “life”, in which I am supposed to “talk to people” and “be productive”.
Anyway, in the interim before my final review, I thought I’d share with you guys one of my favourite quotations so far (the whole book is eminently quotable, by the way, so you’ll see more of these):
“And at home by the fire, whenever you look up, there I shall be - and whenever I look up, there will be you.”
I just think it’s one of the simplest, yet truest, depictions of what one person can ever want from another.
Ugh, the truth will out - Rosa’s a romantic. Don’t tell anyone.#Far from the Madding Crowd #Thomas Hardy #books #reading #lit