Well, Andi’s assessment of my summer and fall that she detailed in this post was spot on. Although I did fine reading through Modern Library’s Top 100 Books of the 20th Century when I just had work, family, and teaching responsibilities, starting graduate school tipped the scales just enough where the only thing I felt like reading at night, or had time for, was Southern Living magazine. And even then I’d just flip through the pictures and then read Rick Bragg’s one page essay at the end of the issue.
Cracking open the scholarly tomes again after (cough, cough) a few years was a challenge. Mastering MLA format was something I don’t think I achieved in my undergrad years, although I’m not sure why since I am the EM (English Major) part of EMME books and wear that banner proudly. However, it’s been a great new adventure.
Plus, since I’m progressing towards a Masters in English, references to our good friends, the authors of these 100 books, abound! Quotes by James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence peppered my textual scholarship book already, along with unanswered questions regarding certain passages in their novels. For instance, at the end of Sons and Lovers, the original manuscript reads that Henry “whispers” the word “Mother,” but some editions say Henry “whimpers” the word.
Right around the time I was thinking that Andi was better suited for textual scholarship since she usually delves into the background history and context of our books, I came across a passage in Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures that described textual scholarship as… wait for it…. “the engineering branch of literary studies.” Woot! I knew it all came together somehow.
So, onward we go with EMME, and onto the next book! Andi posted her review of 1984 here and mine will be coming soon. Then we are on to I, Claudius by Robert Graves, which I had to step up the pace on because I used up all my renewals at the library. Truth be told, I did hit my stride on that book at about page 200. After that we’re going To the Lighthouse with Virginia Woolf.
Sit back, grab a book and a hot chocolate and let’s roll into the new year! Happy Reading!