I’ve recently been quite busy with my job as a professional ice cream scooper, so I really haven’t had too much time to either read or post. However, the other day in the mail I received a summer reading list from the University of York, one of my candidates for college in the fall. It was quite exciting to get, as there are a number of super interesting reads on it. The list goes as follows:
1. Thomas Malory, The Morte Darthur: The Winchester Manuscript
2. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
3. Jane Austen, Sanditon
4. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
5. EITHER Alexander, Michael, A History of English Literature OR Sanders, Andrew, Short Oxford History of English Literature
6. EITHER If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho OR Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments of Sappho
7. Homer, The Odyssey
8. Sophocles, Antigone
9. Ovid, Metamorphoses
10. James Joyce, Ulysses
11. Jean Anouilh, Antigone AND Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona, The Island
12. William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale
13. EITHER The English Bible: King James Version, Vol. 1: The Old Testament OR The Bible: King James Version with Apocrypha
14. Peter Barry, Beginning Theory
15. John Seeley, The Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation
16. Chris Baldick, The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms
Needless to say, I jumped right into Le Morte Darthur, and it is really quite good. I’ve read The Once and Future King by T. H. White many times throughout my childhood, and unsurprisingly enough (as White based his book off of Malory’s) there are quite a few similarities between the two. At first I was slightly unnerved at how the focus quickly shifts away from King Arthur, instead rotating between his knights of the Round Table, but now I’m starting to appreciate how Malory’s technique allows the reader to grasp a fuller picture of what was happening at the time in Arthur’s domain. Another confusing fact is that the book was not written chronologically, and it isn’t always explained at what points in time things are happening. So not only do events sort of repeat, but they are mentioned early on in the book, only to be forgotten for another 200 or so pages. Overall though, I like it quite a bit.
As the summer goes by, I will probably try to post my thoughts in regard to the books on the list (and some off of it), even on the ones that I have already read, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antigone, and parts of the Bible. But chances are, I will probably not do such posting, because I will forget. At least my intentions are good though!
Hope everyone is having a nice summer thus far!