My old experiment, my fanzine, is over. I’ve tried really hard to keep up with it, but I just don’t have the enthusiasm for it any more. I know a lot of that is due to the fact I don’t have the time for it any more, now I have a job. So, that is over, and it failed, though in the next few weeks I will post some of the articles and reviews I wrote for it, I don’t want to waste them, and I’m proud of some of them
Instead, I have a new experiment. The plan has always (read, since I decided I didn’t want to be a teacher) been to work for a year while I apply for an MA, then go back to university for an MA of some sort, either English Lit, hopefully followed by a PHD, or Library Studies, hopefully followed by a job as a librarian. At the moment I am leaning towards the English route, and have been looking at MAs, there are several Victorian Studies ones that I am very interested in, both in London and out of it. Upcoming members of family moving to various areas of the north of England have made me following them seem sensible, especially as it is cheaper, but ultimately I’ll be ruled by course choice over everything. I’m going to make my application the best I can, so I’ve started my research already, to make sure I know as much as I can about the courses I’ll be applying for, and the application process.
The preparation for uni has also taken a different form. As I’m considering a Victorian Studies MA it makes sense for me to be reading Victorian literature, but for the last couple of months I’ve been totally reading for pleasure, lots of comics, sci-fi, fantasy and pulp fiction, with lots more ‘literary’ books as well, but all of them post-1960’s at least. I’d been worried about getting out of touch with Victorian literature, and resolving ‘I’ll start reading more Victorian lit after I finish this book’… Luckily, I have been jolted from my procrastinating, by a book of course. I bought Elaine Showalter’s A Literature of Their Own the other day, it’s something I’ve read bits of in classes and wanted to read the whole thing, and only one chapter in it’s done the job.
I have resolved to keep a reading diary, and each week I have to read at least one book that I think will be useful to my course. It doesn’t have to be Victorian, theory and earlier and later books are fine, as are all genres, but I must read one book that isn’t obviously nothing to do with what I will be studying. I’m going to dig out all the random classics I’ve acquired and not read yet, the Arnold Bennet one will be interesting, considering how scathing Woolf was of him, and I have a list of more minor Victorian authors to keep and eye out for as well. To help today I bought some Ruskin and a collected edition of modern women’s poetry, as well as A.S. Byatt’s Elementals, not Victorian at all, but perhaps rather inspired by some work of the fin du siecle, so that’s ok. It’s the first entry in my reading diary too.
Hopefully, by the time I get to uni I’ll have read over 50 books related to my course, I even before I find out what the reading lists for it actually are, I am super prepared. Forcing myself to keep some sort of academic frame of mind will be really useful, I just wish I knew someone I could actually talk to about some of the books I’ll be reading. I forsee this blog having lots of reading-related ramblings, I’m really looking forward to it.