Another Post Designed to Complain About My Teachers

Note: I was totally and completely spoiled by the wonderful English professor that I had at ORU, from whom I took 3 amazing courses.

I recently complained about my English professor’s interpretation of Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”

This guy is unbelievable.

Our latest study is a play by the modern British playwright Caryl Churchill, who I will not link because I would like for this blog to remain “family-friendly.”

This work was offensive at best, and revolting and vulgar at worst.

I realize that there is a lot of this type of literature out there. I also realize that some of it is good.

I also know that there is a lot of great modern British literature out there that is very clean, very well written, and very thought-provoking.

Two of the modern “British” writers we discussed weren’t even from England. One was from Ireland, which I’ll excuse because I consider it all to be part of GB. However, one was American. AMERICAN! We studied an American writer in a British literature course. Ugh! I wanted to scream. All of the great British writers we passed over so that we could study a mediocre American playwright. Plus, if he was going to insist on adding an American writer, there are far better he could have chosen from than T. S. Eliot.

Anyway, now I’m basically just ranting.

One more week . . . I can make it one more week.

5 thoughts on “Another Post Designed to Complain About My Teachers

  1. Emily says:

    Ewww. I’m sorry you were forced to read/discuss something that you found so offensive. I remember being told I had to read a book in my 20th century american writers class that I had heard about – and already knew I would be offended by. I read about a page and a half of it and wanted to be sick. So, long story short, I still have never read the book and yes, I did write a paper about it – or, more to the point, about how the publishing industry is failing American authors by publishing drivel just because someone thinks it’s ‘edgy. 🙂

  2. Jana Swartwood says:

    Now hold on. T. S. Eliot is amazing. Brilliant, wonderful, amazing. Significant, groundbreaking. Not mediocre.And because he chose to live and write in England (predominantly), he is more often claimed in regard to British literature rather than American literature (though it is true that he was an American citizen).Although I don’t understand why your prof had you read a play. It’s his poetry that actually changed the world, not his plays.As for Caryl Churchill, I’ve never read her, so I don’t have a personal opinion, but I think it is the job of a professor to very carefully choose works that are highly vulgar in nature. If you’re going to teach it, teach it well and help your students see beyond the vulgarity (if indeed, anything does exist beyond the vulgarity). If you can’t do this, then don’t teach a vulgar work.

  3. Coley says:

    Thanks, Emily.I’m always amazed at the number of writers that are more concerned with stirring up controversy and making a buck than with actually creating great literature.

  4. Coley says:

    I’m sorry, Jana, but I didn’t enjoy T. S. Eliot. I tried, but I just didn’t. Perhaps I’ll try a different work?The major problem with the Churchill work was that one of the vulgar scenes was a very graphic description of a sex scene between two men.Choosing vulgar literature for the sake of teaching the deeper meaning of the work is one thing, but this professor seems to be obsessed with homosexuality. It has shown up in so much of his teaching. He is married with kids, but there is some underlying theme in his teaching that denies that facade.Furthermore, we had the Modern British Lit. Norton Anthology, and I never cracked it once. All of the modern British writers we studied, every single one, was taken from text files that he provided to us online. I was so disappointed.

  5. Jana Swartwood says:

    Ew! I don’t doubt that your prof has issues, and I seriously question his literary selections as well. Having never read an Eliot play, I really can’t defend or not defend them. But he writes brilliant literary criticism. I read his book on Dante when I was doing my Charles Williams research.But he is best known for his amazing poems. In fact, my blog is named after a line in his poem “Ash-Wednesday,” which is one of my favorite poems of all time. “The Waste Land” is the most famous of his poems; it’s so full of analogies that it’s really hard to follow sometimes, but it was considered groundbreaking in its time.

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