Well, I (somewhat miraculously) survived the M.A. exam. I've never experienced anything quite like it. I've written twenty page papers in a single day, but, as my beloved reminds me, that is a completely different exercise than writing four separate essays. Starting and stopping again had its benefits and drawbacks, but it was nowhere as horrific an experience as I expected. Here's the death toll for my exam:
- Twenty-four pages, not including Works Cited pages.
- Nine works, including:
o Four theory texts
o One short story/novella
o One play
o One collection of poems
o One epic poem
o One novel
- Twelve hours of my life, and far more than that in preparation.
That's a lot of books. Still, there are quite a few more sitting on my desk that I did not get to use. Oh well. The only one that I regret not using is King Lear. I wrote an essay on the right to rule, and it felt almost tragic (get it?) to omit Lear. But, I had already written on Measure for Measure, so I had had enough of Shakespeare. Instead, I chose to write about Paradise Lost and Oroonoko. The other three essays are as follows:
- An examination of the device of "delayed recognition" in Melville’s "Benito Cereno" and Measure for Measure.
- An argument for the collaborative nature of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.
- A peculiar yet indefatigable exploration of the demystification of authority and how Edward Said's approach in Orientalism is parallel to the reading strategies at work in Gender Trouble, The Subject of Tragedy, and Sensational Designs.
I give myself a 97% chance of passing, with a 27% chance of an elusive "high pass." Now I get to tackle a long list of things I've been meaning to do after I finish the M.A. exam. On the top of that list is cleaning out the memory card from my camera, a task that yielded such gems as
Cats v. Lobster, and
Stephen King's house, a bit of Bangor localia.
Next on my list? Get some sleep.