Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The English Review Vol. 4 | Literature and Society in Victorian Britain

As the name suggests, this was an English course with a serious History bent. It was super fascinating finding out more about the Victorian era (and super handy for this semester which is once again looking at the Victorian era) and how its novels were both influenced by and influenced society.

Since one of the main things you do in English studies, and one of my favourite parts, is looking at the connection between literature and the society and culture that produced, it proved to be both useful and insightful to have a topic so grounded with actual information about the era. Having said that, a bit more focus on the actually novels would have been good…  

Reading list: selection of poetry, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, Middlemarch by George Elliot, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Middlemarch was much more enjoyable than I expected and Heart of Darkness much more confusing. Our Mutual Friend restored my faith in Dickens as a writer and the likelihood of Little Dorrit being as good as the 2008 BBC adaptation.

And then there was Jane Eyre.  

Jane Eyre was a novel I’d been wanting to read for a while, so I was excited to see it on the course list. But I was also apprehensive, worried it wouldn’t be what I wanted and expected. Jane was as fierce and independent and headstrong as I hoped and she more than made up for the fact that Rochester is actually a super dodgy guy. I liked being in Jane’s head as she came to terms with the world and found her place in it. I enjoyed that more than the romance, which was enjoyable but, like I said, Rochester is dodgy as.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Monarto Zoo | a day at the zoo

Before the mid-semester break, the Buds and I woke up early on a Saturday and took the two hour bus trip out of the city to South Australia’s open-air zoo, Monarto (apparently the largest open-air zoo in the world!).

After fortifying ourselves with an early picnic lunch, we jumped on the first bus to take a look around the zoo. The easiest way to look at all the animals on exhibit is by hopping on and off the tour buses, they take you all the way around the zoo and into the animal enclosures. The bus also stops at viewing platforms, so you can get off and see the animals from a more stable position. There are a few walking trails, but we didn’t get to those this time round.

We did managed to catch a couple of keeper talks though, which were really good, mainly for the opportunity to see some of the animals closer up.
My favourites were the giraffes.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Quote | There is nothing that Art cannot express

Mid-semester holidays are finally upon us! All my assignments (including all my scary-presenting assignments for the semester!) for term 3 are finally done and I can relax a bit … it feels odd haha.

It’s been a good, long, stressful term.

  • Currently listening to Tearin' Up My Heart on repeat.
  • Still reading Dracula, but hoping to finish this week and move onto Peter Pan
  • Looking forward to going home for the mid-semester break (this weekend!).

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Currently reading…Dracula

I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker for English. It wasn’t a text I was looking forward to reading, but I’m barely 20 pages in, and so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’m really enjoying it.

It’s written as a series of journal extracts and the immediacy of the present tense makes the novel instantly engaging.
I’m looking forward seeing to how the story unfolds (what the plot actually is) and getting to know the characters (hoping a good female character gets an appearance but not holding my breath).

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Art Gallery of South Australia | what studying Art History is really about

The Art Gallery is one of my favourite places to visit, even more so since studying Art History. Art History has given me a curiosity and openness about looking at the possible meanings in art and how that meaning is made through colour, style, medium, etc., regardless of whether I like it or not.

The great thing about studying Art History (studying English is much the same) is it teaches you and gives you the confidence to engage with art. It’s not about over analysing or saying an artist (or writer) was completely conscious of the array of meanings to be found in their work. It’s about learning to interrupt the ways, as humans, we create meaning and how the ideas and ideals of a time are reflected within art and literature.

One of my lecturers warned learning to analyse and think more critically about art and literature can interrupt your ability to just simply enjoy things until you reach a stage when you can enjoy and analyse simultaneously. Luckily I haven’t found it a problem so far, mostly it’s just made me much more curious.

And now I go to the gallery, not just for the atmosphere and architecture but actually for the art.

On Instagram

© Kathryn Explains It All. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs. Book image within header by James Simons.