Three years of my life as an EU student of English Literature at the University of East Anglia,England.
Yes, I did. I survived week 7! I feel free and so relieved now. Basically, I had three essays due for this week, so I spent the two previous weeks working hard on them, and doing a lot of research (especially for the Literature in History essay). The amazing library even felt like my second home or even like my bed since I spent some evenings there. It’s such a nice place to work though, the silent study floors are so quiet (even creepy) at night…
For my optional module Reading Translation – which I love – we had to do like we do in class. We were given a poem in French along with five different English translations. The essay question was “Compare these translations in relation to the original one”. The poem I worked on was Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Hiboux” (The Owls), which turned out to be quite interesting. At first I thought I’d never make it because I had no idea how to structure and organise this essay, and I was worried about being too repetitive. But in the end I really loved writing this essay and had a lot to say so that’s great!
My Reading Texts essay really annoyed me at first and I felt lost : “Choosing one text covered on the module so far, except “Ozymandias”, write a 1500 word essay on “the reader”; terms such as “interpreter”, “viewer” and “listener” may also be relevant”. Yep. None of the texts we’d covered in class particularly mentioned readers or even listeners. After reading this question again and again I finally had a few ideas, and meeting my seminar leader helped! I chose to work on Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130” (the one where he says his mistress is ugly, stinks, but that he loves her anyway). “Reader” was a very broad term so I rambled about his Shakespeare is a reader because his satirical sonnet was inspired by other love poets and so on. I’m quite happy with it now!
The last essay was the Literature in History one: we had to pick one of the texts studies so far and say how it is linked to its historical context. It was particularly tough because it’s hard not to focus entirely on history and to find a good balance. I did mine on Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale because I really loved studying it and there was a lot to say about religion. But even though I was glad with my plan and thought it was great, I’m not sure about the final essay. I guess we’ll see when I get feedback… This essay killed me, it was the last one, I was mentally exhausted from all the work I’d done, and since it involved a lot of research, I ended up skimming through ten books in order to find historical evidence and quotes.
So now I think you can see why I feel like it’s a rebirth and relief to be done! Apart from the usual homework and reading to do, I’ll have much more time for myself and to relax – which feels good. Well until the end of december when all the deadlines will be at the same time! I feel more confident now that I finished all my essays on time. I hadn’t written essays in over two years (since I left college in France, because we didn’t do proper essays at French uni). I felt rusty but thanks to the help of a friend of mine, I feel more confident about my academic English.