I really haven’t done any actual literary posts yet so I thought, as an English student, I should probably get right on that! This summer, I am taking a break from the the really tough academic reading and focusing on some fun stuff… like reading the Harry Potter series for the FIRST TIME EVER. Yes, I know this is long past due but I am in it for the long haul… or at least until class begins again on August 20th.
But since many of you are NOT academics, or at least not professionally, you may be interested in what I am reading during the school year. I will periodically post on what I am reading through the school year and what I have already begun reading.
Dreams of Interpretation was taught by our English department head, Dr. Angela Hunter. It was a challenging honors course focusing on psychological narrative themes. Much of the literature that was assigned surrounded topics on prophetic dreams, visions, and even drug-induced hallucinations. Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud- Although this book is often studied in psychology departments for the purpose of learning psycho-analysis, it was fascinating to read it from a literary perspective. I suggest reading small sections at a time. It can be a little overwhelming. Stigmata by Phyllis Perry- Not to be confused with the major motion picture, Stigmata is written by an African American author. By far my favorite read of the academic season, Stigmata follows a woman haunted by her enslaved ancestry as she experiences supernatural phenomenon. My final paper for the class was written on this novel and the research behind it was captivating. Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincy was a complex look into the life of an opium addict in the nineteenth century. De Quincy experiences visions/hallucintations due to his drug involvement and we are able to peer into his thought process in real time as he experiences various memory recalls and large lapses in time and space.
Kubla Khan and Christabel by Samuel Coleridge are dream-vision poems written by one of the greatest romantic period British poets. Some say these are prophetic, others say Coleridge was simply another opium addict. You decide.