Comps Book List Update

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Here it is 9:45pm on a Friday night. Is it sad that I’m home and sitting in bed? Wow, that’s so not how life was even a few years ago… some Friday nights I was getting Mike & Ike’s bounced off my head (lol love you Earl). I had other plans for a post for today, then last night hit and I had an allergic reaction to something. I don’t know what but my lip swelled up huge! It was CRAZY! This is the second time in 2 weeks this has happened. But nothing seems to be the same to cause the reaction. Anyway so I came home and took 2 Benadryl and well…. I fell asleep. I woke up this morning groggy, my lip was still swollen, I took another Benadryl and I was out again. (and no, there are no pictures… well there are but I’m too self conscious to post those on the internet!)

So since this post was written and waiting to be published sometime the beginning of this month, now seems like as good of time as any, especially since I now have 27, almost 26 days until Comps. Maybe… just maybe I’m having an allergic reaction to all the stress from studying for Comps while still taking classes…. Just a thought.

The other day I was camped out in the library between my morning class and waiting for study group. I sat for so long that when I stood up I felt a vibration in my legs. I’m pretty sure it was the blood pumping through my veins again.

Okay so this is the month of doom. I have comps the end of this month. Yes, I know I mention it a lot but I’m kind of freaking out! I have 3 chances to pass and then I don’t know what happens. No pressure or anything.

So basically they pass it out, we answer short answer and essay. Then there is an odd number of American professors and an odd number of British professors (specialty not where they’re from….) who grade it. It’s pass or fail. You have to have majority pass or else… you fail. Again, no pressure.

So anyway I’m doing an update on my list and where I stand… well because if nothing else it helps keep me on track, it gets my cheerleaders screaming for me and whatever…. 4 weeks baby, 4 weeks (or something like that)

American: Core List

COLONIAL (Beginnings to 1820)
Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Part 1

Anne Bradstreet: “The Prologue,” “The Author to Her Book,” “Contemplations,” “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment,” “Here Follows Some Verses Upon the Burning of Our House”

ROMANTIC (1820-1865
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Birth-Mark”

Henry David Thoreau: Walden, “Resistance to Civil Government”

Walt Whitman: “Song of Myself,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” “The Wound Dresser”

REALISTIC (1865-1914)
Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Fin
Kate Chopin: The Awakening

Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Emily Dickinson (grouped by theme)


  • #207 (#214) I taste a liquor never brewed
  • #320 (#258) There’s a certain Slant of Light
  • #359 (#328) A Bird came down the Walk
  • #905 (#861) Split the Lark – and you’ll find the Music

Death, Immortality, Religion: 

  • #124 (#216) Safe in their Alabaster Chambers
  • #236 (#324) Some keep the Sabbath going to Church
  • #202 (#185) “Faith” is a fine invention

Mind, Soul, Self:

  • #620 (#435) Much Madness is divinest Sense
  • #339 (#241) I like a look of Agony
  • #598 (#632) The Brain – is wider than the Sky
  • #312 (#252) I can wade Grief

MODERN (1914-1950)
William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury
Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes were Watching God

T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
Langston Huges:

  • “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,”
  • “I, Too,” “Dream Boogie,”
  • “Cross,”
  • “Mulatto,”
  • “Christ in Alabama,”
  • “Mother to Son,”
  • “Homecoming,”
  • “Green Memory,”
  • “Silhouette,”
  • “Let America be America Again,”
  • “Harlem [Dream Deferred,”
  • “Theme for English B,”
  • “Song for a Dark Girl”

Robert Frost:

  • “Design,”
  • “Out, Out-,”
  • “Birches,”
  • “After Apple-Picking,”
  • “The Road Not Taken,”
  • “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,”
  • “Desert Places,”
  • “Mending Wall,”
  • “Home-Burial,”
  • “Acquainted with the Night,”
  • “Directive,”

Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire

Toni Morrison: Beloved
Flannery O’Connor: “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” “Revelation”

Gwendolyn Brooks:  

  • “The Bean Eaters,”
  • We Real Cool,”
  • “The Near-Johannesburg Boy,”
  • “An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire: La Bohem Brown,”
  • “the mother,”
  • “kitchenette,”
  • “the children of the poor” (1-5)
  • “A Lovely Love,”
  • “To Those of my Sisters Who Kept Their Naturals,”
  • “The Chicago Picasso, 1986” 

Allen Ginsberg: “Howl,” “America,” “A Supermarket in California,” “Sunflower Sutra”

David Henry Hwang: M. Butterfly 
British Literature: Core List

  1. Beowulf, “Deor,” “The Dream of the Rood,” “The Wanderer”
  2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  3. Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: “The General Prologue,” “The Miller’s Prologue and Tale,” “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale,” “The Clerk’s Tale,” “The Franklin’s Tale,” “The Pardoner’s Prologue & Tale,” “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” (may be read in translation)
  4. Sidney, An Apology for Poetry
  5. Shakespeare, Hamlet
  6. Shakespeare, MacBeth
  7. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
  8. Milton, Paradise Lost (Books 1, 2, 4, & 9)
  9. Pope, The Rape of the Lock
  10. Fielding, Joseph Andrews
  11. Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  12. Wordsworth, “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads, “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” “Imitations of Immortality,” The Prelude (Books 1, 9, 10, 13, & 14)
  13. Brontë, Wuthering Heights
  14. Dickens, Little Dorrit
  15. Tennyson, In Memoriam
  16.  Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  17. Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  18. Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  19. WWI, Yeats and Auden Bundle: Brooke, “The Soldier”; Owen, “Dulce et decorum est,” “Anthem of Doomed Youth”; Sassoon, “Glory of Women,” “Repression of War Experience,” “They”; Rosenberg, “Break of Day in the Trenches”; Graves, “The Next War”; Yeats, “The Wild Swans at Coole,” “The Second Coming,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” “Byzantium,” “Easter 1916,” “Leda and the Swan,” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” “Under Ben Bulben,”; Auden, “In Memory of WB Yeats,” “The Shield of Achilles,” “Musee des beaux arts,” “September 1, 1939,” “In Memory of Sigmund Freud, “Ode to Terminus” 
  20. Smith, White Teeth

And because every post needs a picture… circa 2003 at the Ozark Empire Fair. I used to be able to sleep anywhere….


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