Today I went back to school for my final semester. All in all, it was an alright day. The prof of my first class apparently used to be a dancer before she went into academia. More importantly, she’s from New Zealand and has the best accent ever. “Your papers are due on Weeeeensday”.
My other class on Mondays and Wednesdays is the History of Literary Production, featuring the Victorian serial. Today, my prof spent most of the time explaining what a serial is. Unnecessary and boring. What fun. The class was not without its excitement, however, as some girl sitting in the row behind me asked what is possibly the stupidest question I’ve heard in a long time. She said, and I quote, “Do you have any tips for reading Victorian novels?” I suppose this is not stupid in itself, but she followed it up with, “Like, at a desk?” Yes. To fully understand Victorian novels, you must read them at a desk. By the light of an oil lamp. Next to a baron.
The worst part was that my prof actually spent the next twenty minutes talking about the best way to read a Victorian novel. Surprisingly, it doesn’t matter if you read it at a desk or anywhere else really. In summation, what you really need to do in order to read a Victorian novel is to read a Victorian novel. In the wise words of Julia, “You look at it with your eyes and absorb it with your brain”.
On the walk home, I’m pretty sure I got snow blindness. So, all in all, not a terrible day.
~ Hilary Lyon Axle Hatchet
P.S. I have a feeling that people who ask whether or not Victorian novels are best understood at a desk are going to make it very hard for me to keep my New Year’s resolution.