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Feb. 28th, 2009 @ 07:43 pm Help?
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nemoorange:
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From:j4
Date:February 28th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
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I'm afraid there's no creative writing component to the Oxford English course; and if you don't like analysing texts, it's almost certainly not for you -- you'd be doing pretty much nothing else for 3 years! As for the poetry... well, there aren't strictly speaking any compulsory set texts (the areas of study are divided up into historical periods, and you have a fair amount of choice as to which authors you concentrate on for each period), but there are authors it's difficult to avoid (e.g. there's an entire paper devoted to Shakespeare), and it'd be fairly difficult to avoid poetry altogether.

I'd be happy to tell you more about it (I'm not a student now -- graduated in 2000 -- but the course hasn't changed that much) but it does sound like it's not the sort of thing you're looking for!
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From:nemoorange
Date:February 28th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
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I can analyse texts, it's just that I also love the writing aspect of English. I mean, without writing it, there's nothing to analyse, surely?

I don't mind Shakespeare, I love the older periods of history, which is part of the reason why I want to stay in a really old college. I think it's more the modern poems that annoy me, (and doing about nothing but poems for a full term. Especially depressing poems like 'Dying' by Emily Bronte.)

I'd really appreciate anything else that you could tell me about the course, I'd like to get another point of view.
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From:j4
Date:February 28th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
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I mean, without writing it, there's nothing to analyse, surely?

Well, true, somebody has to write it. :-) But creative writing really isn't what the Oxford English degree is about: it's about critical analysis of literature and language. Of course nobody's going to stop you writing novels in your spare time!

I think it's more the modern poems that annoy me, (and doing about nothing but poems for a full term. Especially depressing poems like 'Dying' by Emily Bronte.)

Well, 20th century literature is only one bit of the first year, so that's only half of one term, and you could certainly avoid 20th century poetry if you really don't like it...

But whatever you're studying, you need to be able to analyse it, to approach it with critical detachment whether or not your immediate emotional reaction is that it's "depressing" or "annoying". The Oxford English course covers literature from 600AD to the present day -- sorry for the prospectus-speak, but it's really not an exaggeration! -- and when you're covering such a wide range of literature you inevitably end up studying some things that you wouldn't actually read for fun (I've never yet met anybody who really enjoyed Piers Plowman...). But it's nothing like GCSE or A-Level, where you spend 2 years on the same small number of books; there's no danger of spending an entire term on a single poem you hate. Each week you have two tutorials on different authors/topics, and you generally have to write an essay (2500 words or so) for each of those tutorials.

I'm sure you're already doing this, but do try to look at plenty of different universities/courses before making your choices -- there's so much variety out there (including lots of places that do include a creative writing component in their English courses). And good luck whatever you decide. :-)