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…