Thursday, June 14, 2007

And now the real business begins...

Now that college is finally out of the way, I can really begin to learn.

No, no—of course I learned a great deal at Dartmouth, more than I ever expected to, in fact. But I have been looking forward to this interregnum between college and graduate school as a time when I can read an obscene amount of books and try to put together a mental landscape of Twentieth Century American literature.

Of course, to do that, I need a much broader foundation than just 20th C Am. writers, so, because I'm anal and because Blogger now has (or has had for some time) post labels to categorize one's posts neatly, I introduce a set of headings under which I'll try to fit the books I end up reading over the next couple of years:

  • Modern British Fiction (i.e. British novels written after 1945 or thereabouts)
  • World Fiction (i.e. non-Anglophone fiction post-1945)
  • Postcolonial Fiction (i.e. like World Fiction, only written in English originally)
  • Modern American Fiction (post-1945)
  • Shameful Omission Admissions (I've failed to read a lot of very important classics and, galling as it will be to own up to these extraordinary deficiencies, I will come clean about all)
  • Poet 0f the Week (I will try to read as much as I can of one poet each week I maintain this blog)
  • Multi-volume novels (e.g. Proust, Musil, Powell et al.)
  • Canonical American Novels I MUST Read If I Ever Wish to Be a Credible Professor (pretty self-explanatory, I think)
  • Postmodern White Men Writing about History (this last category is actually in preparation for what I think I will be writing my dissertation about, as embarrassing as it is to admit that I'm already thinking about that)
I should be getting a couple of posts up in the next day or two about what I've been reading—it's good stuff, so stay tuned.

Oh, and notice that (once again) I've changed the title of the blog so that it also references John Berryman's Dream Song 14 (to the left in the sidebar), and thus matches the URL of the blog.


Pam said...

Hey Andrew,

Welcome to the interregnum; I think you'll like it here. I'm doing exactly the same thing you are, except I have to admit my picking-up-whatever-book-comes-my-way method seems pretty lackadaisical compared to your well-defined categories. I think maybe I will reconsider Year 2's reading list with a little more discipline.

Anyway, what are you going to be doing/where are you going to be living for the next two years?

Andrew Seal said...

Hey Pam! I don't know yet, but if I don't know by the end of the summer, I'm going to start looking for jobs on oil drilling platforms. I hear there's lots of downtime--perfect for a literary existence.