For the Ardent Reader: A Guide to English Literature!

by Kuma

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It’s time now, readers.  Time to get down to business. Firstly, I need you to look at your book collection with astute reverence, then at yourself in the mirror, and finally I want you to salute yourself. You, my friend, have the power to transcend into the realms of infinite dreams, stories, characters, and lives.

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Classical literature, is not for everyone, or so I thought. I was averse to it at a point in the past, as I could not for the life of me understand what Shakespeare or Dickens were on about. I was, and still am, happy toiling after The Famous Five on their many adventures with Timothy, the dog. The only Romance I knew was the pure love between Ned Nickerson and Nancy Drew, as well as the badass Mediator, Suze and my childhood crush, Jesse the sexy spirit. ( ❤ _ ❤ )

~I did fall in love with Classics eventually, and so I would like for you too. Here are my top three literary anthologies, to help you as you embark on this brave journey.

~Our favourite contemporary novels will forever pervade the boundaries of the classics we read! Literally! ^.^


~David Daiches’ A Critical History of ENGLISH Literature Volume I&II  

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These here are the first of my non-fiction reads, no joke. These brilliantly crafted volumes of the history of English Literature are a godsend. David Daiches’ expertise is clearly reflected in each era or genre that he picks up, it makes you crave for the same kind of knowledge on the subject. It covers the time even before Chaucer, when language was in its raw stage, to the time of self-introspection, a rejection of religion, and the hypocrisy of the world i.e. modern times or our time.

If you read it as a well-written, intriguing work of fiction, it is bound to make its way to your list of ‘most interesting reads’ , with the likes of Julian Barnes and Stephen Chbosky.

~A Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams/ Geoffrey Galt Harpham 

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As a proponent of English Literature, you will often come across certain generic literary terms, periods and genres, you will be expected to know the meaning/implication/idea of. As an example, what do you understand of the Gothic as a genre? ~Medieval times, eerie settings, horrors, and a twist on the mundane. Abrams & Harpham’s collection of literary terms, is best suited for those who wish to acquaint themselves with a rudimentary understanding of Literature, before venturing into the deep waters of texts in their entirety.

Read this book, and then try to establish whether books you read now fall under any category/genre or if you can relate them to Jacobean dramatists and likewise.

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~I’m sure there are a thousand more anthologies of sorts that would be of great help, but these are what I found to be most helpful! ~Especially after I transitioned from being a Business graduate to a Literary scholar~ They have helped me through my degree, and continue to guide me till date. All I have left to say is: applaud your decision to study the Classics, care for your bookshelves, and dive into it!

~So, read on my loves, it won’t cost you a thing. The ability to read is a celebration in itself: embrace it, enjoy it!~

For more in our ‘Guide To’ series, check out:

A Guide to Study Abroad and A Guide to Working in a Korean Company

~Happy Reading! ( ˘ ³˘) 💋

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9 thoughts on “For the Ardent Reader: A Guide to English Literature!

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