… between posts.
A whole semester, in fact. It felt like a very long semester at times, partly because I went through a patch of very bad depression near the start of it, and really struggled. I was studying Introduction to English Literature, which sounds like it should be a doddle after three units of Creative Writing – but it really isn’t.
Even being familiar with the first texts we studied (a couple of sci-fi short stories, then HG Wells’s The Time Machine) didn’t help, since the Black Dog had me so firmly in his maw that all I could do was moan and try to fend off his teeth and wipe the drool away. It was Not Good. A new prescription from the Very Helpful Psychiatrist did make a difference, but not before I had to ask for an extension for my first essay and bother a Good Friend in Canberra for help because I was Hopelessly Lost on how to tackle it.
Still, we got through. And luckily, part of the course was little open book exams on the computer, six of them to eventually make up 30% of the course mark, rather than one big exam at the end of the semester. And I got the full 30% there.
Wuthering Heights: I loved it! With the surprising revelation that Heathcliff was very likely black (son of a slave, coming from Liverpool, there are references in the text and enough context from the Brontes to make it plausible…); Edgar Allen Poe (“The Purloined Letter”) I did NOT enjoy so much but ended up writing part of my second essay (worth 40%) on; the other part of the essay was on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story “The Dancing Men”. Then we had a week on Shakespeare’s sonnets (only a week because our lectures and tutes were on Mondays are we got hit with a lot of public holidays and so missed classes).
I don’t know the full results yet, but I know I’ve passed well. Full results come out next Friday. O week for Semester 2 is on the 14th. So for Semester 2 I’m tackling “Gothic Stories: Terror over Time”. Wilkie Collins’s “The Woman in White”; Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”; Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”; Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, and selected episodes of season 1 of the TV show “True Blood” (more vampires, but sexy Southern American ones!)
I’ve started reading “The Woman in White” and it’s delightful in a high Victorian melodrama way – Italian Counts! asylums! hopeless loves and rescues! a (female) cousin with a moustache! Bad Baronets!
Meanwhile this is day 19 of the headcold from hell. It *is* getting better, just very slowly. Chai tea seems to help. It had been stopping me from sleeping to the point where things got rather desperate, but we’re hopefully – HOPEFULLY – getting back on an even keel now. We shall see.