What has been going on?
As you’ve probably noticed from the constant spam floating around on my Twitter account yesterday. I made a trip to the University in Leiden with my sister. Picking what I want to do in the future has probably been one of the most nerve wracking decisions I have ever had to make. I’ve been so stressed lately and have been pondering every second of the day on what to do…
After taking lots of studies in account and visiting a great amount of open days I finally had it figured out a few weeks ago. I didn’t want to celebrate to early though, and that’s why I jumped at the chance to join a first year student for a day. I dragged my sister -who’ll probably be studying medicine next year- with me. Together we attended the classes on schedule for the day.
Honestly, I am so glad that I decided to stick with what I love, which with some common sense everyone can figure out (I mean, you’re on a book blog here…). Literature. Yes, I am sticking with my decision, and next year you’ll find my studying English Language and Culture. Yesterday was so much fun and I can’t wait to start studying!
So what did I learn (and what book did we discuss)?
New Historicism is a literary theory based on the idea that literature should be studied and interpreted within the context of both the history of the author and the history of the critic. It acknowledges not only that a work of literature is influenced by its author’s times and circumstances, but that the critic’s response to that work is also influenced by his environment, beliefs, and prejudices.
A New Historicist looks at literature in a wider historical context, examining both how the writer’s times affected the work and how the work reflects the writer’s times. Studying the history reveals more about the text; studying the text reveals more about the history.
The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.
Have any of you read this book?
I haven’t read it yet, but from what I heard, and from what was discussed in the lecture I definitely interested. I don’t know whether I like it I don’t know… Because I’ve spoken with quite some students, and most of them told me that the book they discussed before was Northanger Abbey (a shame that they didn’t discuss it this week because I have read this one, and as you all know Jane Austen is my favourite author). They told me that the students that enjoyed Northanger Abbey, didn’t really enjoy The Heart of Darkness. Anyway, I’ll be reading it without a doubt, maybe I’ll read it for fun in a few weeks, and if not I’ll read it sometime next year during Literature classes.