Heavy Reading

So I just checked out the reading list for my Victorian Novel class in the Spring. The list of books follows, along with the page number count for each one (taken from the Modern Library paperbacks, accounting for the notes and commentary, so the number given is the text itself only):

Jane Eyre – 682 pages
Bleak House – 861 pages
Mill on the Floss – 656 pages
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – 453 pages
Portrait of a Lady – 450 pages (guesstimated)
Vanity Fair – 810 (guesstimated)
Dracula – 366
Picture of Dorian Gray – 200 (guesstimated)

For a total of ….. 4,478 pages.

Wow. I knew Victorian novelists were long-winded coming in, but I think the professor picked the longest work from every single author! Okay, I know that’s not really true. Mill on the Floss is shorter than Middlemarch, and Bleak House, though REALLY LONG, is, I think, shorter than Pickwick Papers. Don’t know about the others. Why Bleak House, I wonder? Because he assumes we’ll already have read Great Expectations and David Copperfield? (I haven’t, because I hate me some Dickens.) At least I’ve already read three of them, though I could use a refresher. Taking contemporary lit classes has spoiled me; 20th century writers don’t usually write so much, like, maxing at 400 pages or so.

So far the other class I’m in (Literary Theory) only has one book listed, but I somehow doubt it’ll stay that way. Or else he’s got a heap bunch of articles we’ll need to read. Even so, I think the list above and the amount of mental effort I’ll need to put into the theory class (I’ve never had theory before at any level) will guarantee that the semester I’m about to finish will remain the easiest of my graduate career. Especially once you add in oral exam prep…

  • Holly Miler

    I have read 4 of them, and am reading Portrait of a Lady right now. I admit that this is my 3rd go at getting all the way through, though. I think I need to be in the right frame of mind to approach any given book. It took me several tries to read Le Mis and Great Expectations too. I take Dickens with a pretty open hand, there are portions I skim.

  • Holly Miler

    I have read 4 of them, and am reading Portrait of a Lady right now. I admit that this is my 3rd go at getting all the way through, though. I think I need to be in the right frame of mind to approach any given book. It took me several tries to read Le Mis and Great Expectations too. I take Dickens with a pretty open hand, there are portions I skim.

  • http://www.the-frame.com/blog Jandy

    I saw the movie of Portrait of a Lady and hated it. But I also hate most Jane Campion-directed movies, so I’m not ready to hate the book yet. We’ll see. And yeah, the last class I took with this professor had three D.H. Lawrence books in it, and I skimmed nearly all of them. I plan to do the same thing with Dickens; and the professor isn’t a particular fan of Dickens, either, so I don’t even feel bad about it!

  • http://www.the-frame.com/blog Jandy

    I saw the movie of Portrait of a Lady and hated it. But I also hate most Jane Campion-directed movies, so I’m not ready to hate the book yet. We’ll see. And yeah, the last class I took with this professor had three D.H. Lawrence books in it, and I skimmed nearly all of them. I plan to do the same thing with Dickens; and the professor isn’t a particular fan of Dickens, either, so I don’t even feel bad about it!

  • george

    Yuck. The only ones I’d even try are Jane Eyre (I read and liked it), Mill on the Floss (George Elliot writes good stuff), and maybe Vanity Fair (except I’ve already seen the movie and didn’t care for the story). Good luck.

  • george

    Yuck. The only ones I’d even try are Jane Eyre (I read and liked it), Mill on the Floss (George Elliot writes good stuff), and maybe Vanity Fair (except I’ve already seen the movie and didn’t care for the story). Good luck.

  • http://www.the-frame.com/blog Jandy

    Yeah, I know. I love Jane Eyre, so I’m looking forward to reading that again (haven’t since I was about twelve). I didn’t care for the film version of Vanity Fair either, but I’ve heard the book is a lot better. And I also love Dracula and pretty much anything by Oscar Wilde, so those will be fun to revisit. But I’m concerned about the Dickens, James, and especially Hardy.

  • http://www.the-frame.com/blog Jandy

    Yeah, I know. I love Jane Eyre, so I’m looking forward to reading that again (haven’t since I was about twelve). I didn’t care for the film version of Vanity Fair either, but I’ve heard the book is a lot better. And I also love Dracula and pretty much anything by Oscar Wilde, so those will be fun to revisit. But I’m concerned about the Dickens, James, and especially Hardy.