23 April, 2007

Essay fatigue

I am exhausted after a weekend spent writing essays: one on Voltaire, and one on Adorno and Horkheimer. I hate coursework: my natural inclination is to leave everything until the last minute and then work long days and nights to get it done, I seem completely unable to work steadily no matter how early I begin. Also, I actively enjoy exams: under high pressure I can work really well and do myself justice. However, I can only blame myself for choosing to write an essay on Adorno: I thought it might be interesting to get to grips with one of the more challenging writers on the course but in fact it's mostly been difficult. Still, I think my essay is all right.

I haven't read much recently: short frustrating chapters of books on Voltaire and Adorno, interspersed with bits of kids' books and trash to switch my mind off after studying. Next one up is Les liaisons dangereuses, though, for my French lit class - I started it in the bus this morning and it looks good. I might also have a bash at Diderot: La religieuse and Jacques le fataliste, perhaps.

I've also started considering what to read on holiday this year - perhaps having read some French eighteenth century stuff I'll read Clarissa. Roll on June the 6th when exams finish and I'll be able to read whatever I want, though...

4 comments:

Phil said...

Les Liaisons Dangereuses is fantastic, you'll love it. I'm also currently reading Diderot, Rameau's Nephew. Jacques le Fataliste is also fun, I love Diderot. His quote about hating being mediocre is wonderful - you couldn't imagine Voltaire or Rousseau thinking that way.

Have you read any Andrew Crumey? I may have recommended him before. He's got a degree in nuclear physics, but writes brilliant novels on French and German literature and philosophy. Read Mr Mee (about French) and Mobius Dick (about German) I'm reading the Diderot so I can read Crumey's D'Alembert's Principle.

problemshelved said...

I read Les Liaisons Dangereuses at college last term. It was a great book although the course sucked because it was media-studies based and not about literature ('compare the use of irony in the book to one of the zillion crap film adaptations.)

And if you want to borrow a kind of French Liaisons Dangereuses for morons guide, it at Forest Gate. Amazon sent it too late to be of any use to me.

I'm exactly the same about essays. To make it worse, I got all my best grades for the last-minute ones this year. I think it's a kind of self-hatred, I must want to make myself suffer...

woodscolt said...

Even when I do sit down to work at something a month before the deadline I find myself pissing about reading irrelevant stuff, I can only ever focus when the deadline is less than a week away. This is an improvement on VIth form, though, when peak focusing time started at bedtime the night before the deadline.

Phil - I think you recommended Crumey to me before. He sounds great - I'll definitely have a bash at him when I can get hold of a copy in the library.

Phil said...

I always did my work the night before. My English finals had 9 papers in 5 days, which made that pretty hard, but doing 2 years of work in a week was never very plausible.