The Southern Girl Academy

 

image via the Google LIFE photo archive.

Have you heard of the Southern Girl Academy? If not, well, bless your heart. A couple of my fabulous friends, Kerri and Savannah, created the SGA to share the sass, style, and charms of what it means to be a Southern girl with natives and non-natives alike. Each week, SGA features a new post from a fun new board member about some area crucial to “what it means to be F’ing Southern: Foundations,  Fixing Up, Fine Arts, Festivities, Fellowship Halls and Foreign Integration.” They’ve featured posts about food, fashion, football, the fine art of swearing, and more. I’m proud to be a board member, and this week, you can find my post on Southern literature, which is chock full of freaks, prophets, and ghosts, and is deeply rooted in the South as not just a place, but practically a character.

 

For folks who have landed here via the SGA post: welcome! You might be interested in a post I wrote recently about Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and the idea of beauty vs. ugliness.

You can find anything on Etsy, even Memaw’s Treasures

So, yesterday I shared with you some of the beautiful things my Memaw gave me as she downsizes and moves in with my parents.  Last night I hopped on Etsy, wondering in particular if they had more of a certain set of dishes that my mom received and I covet in particular, because there aren’t very many of them in her set, and it might be nice to fluff it up a bit.  Sure enough, I found a set of the “Dixie Dogwood” dishes for sale on Etsy:

So then I started poking around some more, to see if I could find any of the things I received for sale.  Remember the commemorative plate for FDR’s Warm Springs, GA “Little White House”?  I found one of those:

And what about the beautiful set of plates my grandfather sent home to his mother from Europe while he was serving in WWII? It turns out you can find those on Etsy as well:

There’s a set of the same milk glass bakers that I received:

Even the little lime green citrus juicer has a twin on Etsy:

And if you liked my super retro footed teacups, you can find a close match on Etsy too!

While it’s sort of crazy to realize that a bunch of things that are, to me, priceless treasures actually sell for $10 or less on the internet, what I am reminded of is that the value of a thing is not its objective value.  The things my Memaw gave me are treasures to me because they belonged to her, and because they have stories behind them.  I’d never sell them on Etsy! However, I think I might need to set up a shop for all the things we decided to “yard sale,” like some of the mismatched Depression glass that didn’t have mates, or the random pieces of Fire King peach lusterware, because I’m pretty sure Etsy prices are better than we’ll get at a yard sale!

master list

Remember when everyone you know was posting on Facebook about how many books they’d read from some BBC list? The gist was that they thought that the BBC had said that the average person had only read 6 out of the 100 books, so if you had read more than 6, you could feel smug and superior– I know I did.  The truth is, that list was really just a list culled from people’s votes for the best-loved novel, not some sort of required reading list.

A newly minted English Lit grad student, I am now in possession of a list of things I have to read and master (in addition to everything I read for my actual coursework) in order to get a Master’s Degree.  Much like my pediatrician hubby taking his boards this October, English Lit students have to take a big exam at the end of their schooling called “Comps.”  Basically, you read and study and obsess over a list of literary works, and then they give you a bunch of ID questions (sample: name the work and author this line comes from: “The world is too much with us, late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”) and you write 3 1.5 hour essays, and then, if you pass, you get a Master’s Degree.  It’s terrifying.

Anyway, I figure a list of works considered necessary for any Master to master is more of a definitive reading list than any ole BBC top 100 popularly-voted list, and thought I’d share my comps list here.  For one, you can check your literacy and see how many you’ve read. For two, you can join me in my shock and awe at the breadth of the list, and possibly even my disappointment that they only managed to come up with ONE twentieth century British woman writer.  For three: Do you happen to own any of these works? Can you help me save some bucks and let me borrow them? Pretty please? I promise not to write in them or abuse them in any way. I just need to read and study them over the next two years or so.  And fourth: I’m going to use this to cross off ones I’ve read, using it as a little checklist as a I go.

So, here you have it, the stuff a bunch of Ph.D’s have decided I must know in order to be a Master of English Lit (some items are not novels but are poems or short stories by the same author):

Medieval:

  1. Beowulf
  2. Wanderer
  3. Battle of Maldon
  4. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People: “Account of the Poet Caedmon” and “The Conversion of King Edwin.”
  5. The Dream of the Rood
  6. Lyrics: “Western Wind,” “Summer Is Icumen In,” and “Adam Lay Ybounden”
  7. Ballads: “Edward, Edward,” “Sir Patrick Spens,” “Lord Randall”
  8. Langland Piers Plowman (Passus 18)
  9. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  10. Chaucer: (to be read in Middle English) General Prologue, The Miller’s Prologue and Tale, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue, Words of the Host to the Physician and Pardoner, Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale (all from The Canterbury Tales); Troilus and Criseyde
  11. Chaucer: Lyrics: “Truth” (“Balade of Bon Conseyl”) and “Complaint to His Purse”
  12. Julian of Norwich: A Book of Showings, from Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 27, 58-61, 86 (Norton Anthology selections)
  13. Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe, from Chapters 1, 2, 11, 18, 28, 52, 76 (Norton Anthology Selections)
  14. The Second Shepherds’ Play
  15. Everyman
  16. Malory: Morte Darthur, Caxton Books XX, XXI

Renaissance and Seventeenth Century

  1. John Skelton: “The Tunning of Elinour Rumming,” “Phillip Sparrow”
  2. Thomas Wyatt: “Whoso list to hunt,” “They flee from me,” “My lute, awake!,” “Mine own John Poins”
  3. Thomas More: Utopia
  4. Sir Philip Sidney: Astrophil and Stella (Sonnets 1, 2, 5, 6, 15, 21, 31, 39, 41, 45, 49, 52, 53, 71, 74, 81)
  5. Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene (“Letter to Raleigh” and Book I), Amoretti (Sonnets 1, 34, 37, 67, 68, 75, 79), Epithalamion
  6. Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus
  7. William Shakespeare: Sonnets 3, 18, 20, 29, 30, 55, 60, 71, 73, 94, 116, 129, 130, 138, 144, 146
  8. William Shakespeare: Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummernight’s Dream, Henry IV, Twelfth Night, The Tempest
  9. Mary Wroth: Pamphilia to Amphilanthus (Sonnets 1, 16, 39, 40, 68, 77, 103)
  10. John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi
  11. Ben Johnson: Volpone, “Song: To Celia,” “To the Memory of Shakespeare,” “Inviting a Friend to Supper,” “To Penshurst,” “To Heaven,” “Ode to Cary and Morison”
  12. John Donne: “The Good Morrow,” “The Sun Rising,” “The Indifferent,” “The Canonization,” “The Flea,” “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” “The Ecstasy,” “Elegy 19,” “Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward,” Holy Sonnets 5, 7, 10, 14, Meditation 17
  13. Robert Herrick: “Delight in Disorder,” “Corinna’s Going A-Maying,” “To the Virgins,” “Upon Julia’s Clothes”
  14. George Herbert: “Easter Wings,” “Prayer (1),” “Jordan (1),” “The Collar,” “The Pulley,” “Love (3)”
  15. Andrew Marvell: “To His Coy Mistress,” “The Garden,” Upon Appleton House
  16. Francis Bacon: Essays (“Of Truth,” “Of Great Place,” “Of Superstition,” “Of Studies”)
  17. Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici
  18. John Milton: Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, Areopagiticia, “Lycidas,” “L’Allegro,” “Il Penseroso”

Restoration and 18th Century

  1. John Dryden: Mac Flecknoe, Absalom and Achitophel, An Essay of Dramatic Poetry
  2. William Congreve: The Way of the World
  3. Alexander Pope: Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot
  4. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: “The Lover: A Ballad”
  5. Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels, “Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift,” “A Modest Proposal”
  6. John Gay: The Beggar’s Opera
  7. Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
  8. Henry Fielding: Tom Jones
  9. Thomas Gray: “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College”
  10. William Collins: “Ode on the Poetical Character,” “Ode to Evening”
  11. Oliver Goldsmith: The Deserted Village
  12. Samuel Johnson: Rasselas, The Vanity of Human Wishes, “Pope” and “Milton” from Lives of the Poets
  13. James Boswell: Life of Johnson (Hibbert’s Abridged Edition)
  14. Laurence Sterne: Tristram Shandy
  15. Robert Burns: “Address to the Deil,” “Holy Willie’s Prayer,” “Tam O’Shanter”

19th Century

  1. William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  2. William Wordsworth: “Tintern Abbey,” “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” “Resolution and Independence,” “Elegiac Stanzas,” Michael, The Prelude I-II, Preface to the Second Edition of Lyrical Ballads
  3. S. T. Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, “Kubla Khan,” “Frost at Midnight,” “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison,” “Dejection: An Ode”
  4. Lord Byron: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, III-IV, Manfred, Don Juan I-IV
  5. Sir Walter Scott: Waverley
  6. P. B. Shelley: “Ode to the West Wind,” “The Cloud,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty,” “To a Sky-Lark,” Adonais, “Mont Blanc”
  7. John Keates: Odes: “Nightingale,” “Grecian Urn,” “Melancholy,” Sonnets: “Chapman’s Homer,” “Bright Star,” “When I Have Fears,” The Eve of St. Agnes, “To Autumn”
  8. William Hazlitt: “On Gusto,” “My First Acquaintance with Poets”
  9. Charles Lamb: “Old China,” “Dream Children”
  10. Thomas De Quincey: “On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth
  11. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
  12. Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
  13. Thomas Carlyle: Sartor Resartus
  14. Lord Tennyson: “The Lady of Shalott,” “The Lotos-Eaters,” “Ulysses,” “Tithonus,” “Locksley Hall,” In Memoriam
  15. Robert Browning: “My Last Duchess,” “Andrea del Sarto,” “Fra Lippo Lippi,” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb,” “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” “Abt Vogler”
  16. E. B. Browning: Sonnets from the Portuguese (21, 22, 32, 43), Aurora Leigh Books 1, 2, 5
  17. John Ruskin: “The Roots of Honor” from Unto This Last, “The Nature of Gothic” from The Stones of Venice
  18. Matthew Arnold: “Memorial Verses,” “The Scholar Gypsy,” “Dover Beach,” “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse,” “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time,” “The Study of Poetry”
  19. A.C. Swinburne: “Hymn to Proserpine,” “The Garden of Proserpine,” “The Triumph of Time”
  20. Christina Rossetti: “Goblin Market”
  21. G.M. Hopkins: “God’s Grandeur,” “The Windhover,” “Pied Beauty,” “Spring and Fall,” “Carrion Comfort,” “No Worst, There Is None,” “I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day,” “Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord”
  22. Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  23. Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
  24. Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
  25. Charles Dickens: Great Expectations
  26. George Eliot: Middlemarch
  27. Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers
  28. W.M. Thackeray: Vanity Fair
  29. Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

20th Century

  1. Thomas Hardy: “Hap,” “The Darkling Thrush,” “The Convergence of the Twain,” “Neutral Tones,” “Channel Firing”
  2. W. B. Yeats: “The Stolen Child,” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “Adam’s Curse,” “September Byzantium,” “Leda and the Swan,” “Among School Children,” “Byzantium,” “A Prayer for My Daughter,” “Long-Legged Fly,” “Lapis Lazuli,” “The Circus Animals’ Desertion,” “Under Ben Bulben”
  3. Wilfred Owen: “Dulce et DEcorum Est,” “Strange Meeting,” “Disabled”
  4. D.H. Lawrence: “Piano,” “Snake,” “Bavarian Gentians,” “The Ship of Death,” Women in Love
  5. W. H. Auden: “Musee des Beaux Arts,” “Lullaby,” “In Memory of W.B. Yeats,” “In Praise of Limestone,” “The Shield of Achilles”
  6. Dylan Thomas: “The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower,” “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night,” “A Refusal to Mourn…,” “Fern Hill”
  7. Philip Larkin: “Church Going,” “High Windows”
  8. Seamus Heaney: “Digging,” “Punishment,” “The Strand at Lough Beg”
  9. G. B. Shaw: Arms and the Man
  10. Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
  11. J.M. Synge: The Playboy of the Western World
  12. James Joyce: “Araby,” “The Dead,” A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  13. Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
  14. Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse
  15. E.M. Forster: A Passage to India
  16. Harold Pinter: The Homecoming
  17. Tom Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  18. Derek Walcott: “As John to Patmos,” “A Far Cry from Africa,” “Ruins of a Great House,” “North and South”
  19. Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart
  20. Salman Rushdie: Satanic Verses

American Literature Prior to 1860

  1. American Indian Myths and Tales: Pima story of the creation and flood; Winnebago trickster cycle (Norton Anthology selections)
  2. William Bradford: Of Plymouth Plantation
  3. John Winthrop: “A Model of Christian Charity”
  4. Mary Rowlandson: Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration
  5. Anne Bradstreet: “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” “Before the Birth of One of Her Children,” “In Memory of my Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet,” “On My Dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet”
  6. Edward Taylor: selections from the Preparatory Meditations, including “Prologue,” First Series–22, Second Series–26
  7. Jonathan Edwards: “Personal Narrative,” “A Divine and Supernatural Light,” “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
  8. Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography Books I and II
  9. Phillis Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” “To His Excellency General Washington”
  10. St. Jean de Crevecoeur: “What is an American?”
  11. Washington Irving: “Rip Van Winkle”
  12. James Fenimore Cooper: The Pioneers
  13. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Nature, “The American Scholar,” “The Divinity School Address”
  14. Henry David Thoreau: Walden, “Civil Disobedience”
  15. Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown,” “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” “The Minister’s Black Veil”
  16. Edgar Allan Poe: “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Philosophy of Composition,” “To Helen,” “The Raven,” “Israfel”
  17. Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
  18. Harriet Jacobs: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Chapters 1, 7, 10, 14, 21, 41
  19. Herman Melville: Moby Dick, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” “The House-Top,” “The Maldive Shark,” Billy Budd
  20. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “My Lost Youth,” “The Arsenal at Springfield,” “The Fire of Driftwood,” “The Jewish Cemetery at Newport”
  21. Walt Whitman: Song of Myself, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” “The Wound Dresser”

American 1860-Present

  1. Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  2. Emily Dickinson: poems numbered 67, 125, 130, 214, 258, 280, 303, 328, 341, 435, 448, 449, 465, 632, 657, 712, 754, 986, 1071, 1129, 1732
  3. Henry James: Portrait of a Lady, “Daisy Miller,” “The Beast in the Jungle”
  4. Sarah Orne Jewett: “A White Heron,” “The Foreigner”
  5. Mary E. Wilkins Freeman: “A New England Nun,” “The Revolt of Mother”
  6. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “The Yellow Walpaper”
  7. Booker T. Washington: Up from Slavery, Chapters I, XIV
  8. W. E. B. Dubois: The Souls of Black Folk, Chapters I, III
  9. Stephen Crane: The Red Badge of Courage, “The Open Boat,” “The Blue Hotel,” “The Bride comes to Yellow Sky”
  10. Kate Chopin: The Awakening
  11. Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence
  12. Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie
  13. Willa Cather: “Neighbour Rosicky”
  14. Robert Frost: “After Apple-Picking,” “Home Burial,” “Birches,” “Design,” “Desert Places,” “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”
  15. T. S. Eliot: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” The Waste Land, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
  16. Ezra Pound: “In a Station of the Metro,” “To Whistler, American,” “A Pact,” “Portrait d’une Femme,” “The River-Merchant’s Wife,” Hugh Selwyn Mauberley
  17. William Carlos Williams: “Spring and All,” “The Red Wheelbarrow,” “This is Just to Say,” “The Widow’s Lament in Springtime,” “The Dance,” “Tract,” “The Yachts,” “To Elsie”
  18. Wallace Stevens: “Peter Quince at the Clavier,” “Sunday Morning,” “Anecdote of the Jar,” “The Snow Man,” “A High-Toned Old Christian Woman,” “The Emperor of Ice Cream,” “The Idea of Order at Key West,” “Of Modern Poetry”
  19. Langston Hughes: “Theme for English B,” “Epilogue (I, too, sing America),” “Harlem”
  20. Hart Crane: The Bridge
  21. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  22. Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”
  23. William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury, “A Rose for Emily,” “Barn Burning,” “The Old People”
  24. Zora Neale Hurston: Their Eyes were Watching God
  25. Eugene O’Neill: Long Day’s Journey Into Night
  26. Eudora Welty: “A Worn Path,” “Petrified Man”
  27. Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire
  28. Flannery O’Connor: “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “Revelation,” “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” “Parker’s Back”
  29. Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man
  30. Robert Lowell: “The Quaker Graveyard at Nantucket,” “Skunk Hour,” “For the Union Dead”
  31. Allen Ginsberg: “Howl”
  32. Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman
  33. Elizabeth Bishop: “The Fish,” “Questions of Travel,” “The Armadillo,” “In the Waiting Room,” “Crusoe in England”
  34. Richard Wright: Native Son
  35. James Baldwin: “Sonny’s Blues”
  36. Toni Morrison: Beloved
  37. Joyce Carol Oates: “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been”
  38. John Updike: “A & P”
  39. Philip ROth: “The Conversion of the Jews,” “Defender of the Faith”
  40. Sylvia Plath: “Daddy,” “Lady Lazarus”
  41. N. Scott Momaday: The Way to Rainy Mountain
  42. Leslie Marmon Silko: Ceremony
  43. Louise Erdich: “Fleur”
  44. Don DeLillo: White Noise

So. There you have it. Over 160 things I have to read and know well in order to get an MA. This is why I have to quit my book club.

do fun stuff

Pacing the Panic Room is one of my favorite places in all of the internets. Ryan Marshall takes amazing photos and makes gorgeous videos set to lovely music tells incredibly honest stories about life with his wife Cole and kids, Tessa and LB. LB has a rare genetic disorder called Smith Magenis Syndrome, and Ryan has rounded up a bunch of awesome artists to help raise awareness about SMS and funds for case studies to help parents and families who are dealing with SMS. These artists have created Do Fun Stuff (Vol. 1) (If you click that you can preview the album and read more about it. I really wanted to put the widget at that link onto my site, but WordPress doesn’t allow iframes, boo hiss), which is a kid’s music CD guaranteed not to suck or make you want to stab your eardrums out with a rusty nail. I don’t have kids, and as such, I’m not forced to listen to crappy kid music on a regular basis. I don’t have to buy kid’s music if I don’t want to. But this album is good stuff, and I don’t hate it. In fact, I like it. A lot. I have a feeling you’ll kinda like it too. So, buy it on iTunes, jam out with your kids or your dogs or your own bad self. Help some kids and their families. Do Fun Stuff.

I’m back! Sorta!

As you notice below: I’m posting to this blog again!

We’ve moved from South Carolina to Little Rock, Arkansas. We’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel of boxes.  Jon’s already working. The dogs are finding new napping spots and interesting things to bark at, including the elderly basset hound next door and the cat who seems to belong to the neighborhood– we hear her name is Princess– and the Highland Cow hide our neighbor has hanging over our fence, looking like the pelt of Chewbacca.

Posting may still not be regular, as the internet won’t be hooked up at our house until the 12th and for some reason, all of our neighbors have password-protected networks.  Right now I’m posting from a Starbucks. I came here for the free wi-fi to apply for a job with a very cool nonprofit (fingers crossed), and decided to post that rambling thing below about Independence Day, which I wrote sort of for myself this morning but decided to go ahead and publish.

I’ve missed you, Internets!

this is just to say

This is just a quick post to say there might not be any posts for a while.  Saturday is move day, and it might be a while after we get settled in before I can resume posting.  Please think happy thoughts and send up prayers for a smooth move, if you’re so inclined.

As a random bonus, I totally got this post’s title off a poem by William Carlos Williams:

This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

today’s post is somewhere else

Through Twitter I’ve come in contact with Ryan Byrd, the pastor of a new church in Little Rock called Eikon.  I’ve been reading Ryan’s blog and the posts on Eikon’s website, and getting pretty excited about the kind of community they are and the things they are up to, thinking they’re the kind of group I might like to be a part of after we move to Little Rock.  Anyway, all these internet connections have led to me having a post up on their site as part of a new blog series called CityView.  So, go check out my post, about how my faith makes me an environmentalist and a foodie!