Hope you’ve had a good start to the new year.
I’ve been working on an assignment for my Open University course on twentieth century literature. The focus of the essay is 1930s poetry, so I have been reading Poetry of the Thirties from Auden to Spender, edited by Robin Skelton. I’ve also been reading the relevant chapters in the course book, which asks the question What is literature for?
The debate is around aestheticism and instrumentalism. Aestheticism being the art for art’s sake argument, whereas instrumentalism is literature with a social, political or moral purpose. It’s a fascinating module, and my head is now full of ideas to develop for an essay.
The only problem is that I have to narrow the choice down to only four poems, and decide what my main argument will be. That is tonight’s difficult job.
In the evenings, I’ve been reading Happiness Like Water short stories by Chinelo Okparanta.
I’ve also been catching up on Mslexia magazine, a magazine for women who write.
On Monday I was delighted that Silent Witness returned with another series. We watched it on the iPlayer, which also included an interview with the writer, Ed Whitmore. I’m a real fan of Ed’s writing. He also wrote Waking the Dead, another of my favourites. It was interesting to get an understanding of his writing process. I loved his writing room too!
I’ve made a few book purchases this week, inspired by the Mumsnet Book Club. More details to follow. I’m waiting for them to arrive first.
In my own writing, I’ve been working on my novel and running memoir. I wrote 1,419 words on the novel, and 1198 words on my running memoir. Steady progress, but progress nonetheless. I also started writing a short story.
This coming week I need to finish the Open University assignment and then turn my attention to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the next book on the course reading list. I also need to have a good writing week. Deadlines are looming, so I have to keep writing.
Have a good week.