Log in

No account? Create an account
Feb. 28th, 2009 @ 07:43 pm Help?
About this Entry
stock: dilate
[User Picture Icon]
Date:February 28th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
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. :-)