Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Me getting all clever and stuff

As a few of you might know, I've recently begun studying for an English Literature degree.  Grown up stuff - for me ,anyway.

Some of you have asked me to let you know how I'm getting on, so here goes:

Well I've had to lay the Raymond Chandler to one side, put a stop on ordering any more Elmore Leonards or Dashiell Hammetts or Jim Thompsons. 

No, it's Shakespeare for me. For a while.

I've just finished reading 'As You Like It', then it's 'Henry V' and 'Othello' - billed as a comedy, a history, and a tragedy.  Well, 'As You Like It' might have had them rolling in the aisles in the sixteenth century, and it was very neatly done, but I found it a little childish.  Listen to me, eh.  Bashing the Bard already.  Having just started Henry V, I like it better already. 

At the moment, I'm in the foundation year - arts, philosophy, history, and stuff like that.  I love all that stuff, but it's not the same as reading the books I love.

I'll try and keep the blog up the best I can.  And my other commitments - reviews and stuff - I'll get them done also.  And maybe have time to knock out the odd short story or two.

In fact, thinking about it, I'll probably have more time than I thought.  Just a matter of managing it properly.

FIFA 11 on the Playstation, I suspect, will be the big loser in the coming months.  Like I said.  It's growing up time for me.

Having just written this post, I realise there is no way I'll be able to go completely cold turkey with the writing, lest my oddness and peculiarities and penchant for swearing and violence leak out into my essays.

And I don't think that'll go down at all well . . .


  1. Too busy staring out of windows at school, Paul, and kicking a tennis ball around a playground to have done any good, so I'm sort of catching up a little. Loved Marlowe's 'Dr Faustus' and I can see old Will has something about him. Funny, I do think there is a link somewhere between the old Tudor stuff and the noir stuff. It's all just people, after all, quite often on the end of a bad run of luck. Dr Faustus, now he was noir all the way

    Bonkers noir, but noir all the same :)

  2. Ian, I have the same battle between school/work related reading and the stuff I'm passionate about. Right now I'm chewing away at an Andrew Jackson biography... boooooooo

  3. I'm almost with the booooooos there, Chris, except that I quite like the literature stuff. I reckon, where there are people at the centre of a story, their emotions torn and wracked, their lives and their hopes and their dreams in the balance, there is a golden thread running all the way from Marlowe right through to Dickens, Hammett, Chandler, Ellroy, all of them. So educating myself on the early stuff is something I'm really looking forward to, just I have to give up so much, it seems, in order to do it.

    But an Andrew Jackson bio? Rather than chew through it myself, if I had a dog, I'd let him do it for me.

  4. Ian, I read Othello when I attempted an A Level English course in my mid 20's. Othello was one of the books I didn't give up on, though I gave up on the course pretty early!

  5. That's my problem, Paul. The giving up. The counselling diploma I completed is the only thing I've completed in my adult life, pretty much. That and the book. That's why I love writing short stories. You can get that much sought after sense of completion in a relatively short period. As for this English Lit. course, I know there'll be times when I'll want to give up, especially now I've discovered my love for crime/noir in the last few months.

    So much to do and so little time to do it. Just got to keep an eye on the bigger picture, you know. Can't spend my working life cleaning toilets, making tea for those capable of making it for themselves, bathing grown men, and draining two dozen cups of coffee a shift. Surely not :)

  6. I once thought of adapting Othello as a northern crime screenplay.

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  8. Orson Welles looked just like a Geordie Crimelord when he took the part, Paul, so I think you might just be onto something . . .