Or to be more exact, let’s talk studies and literature.
Some say those two words should never be in the same sentence. And if that’s the case, my whole life is a question mark. Because I study literature. But I don’t have a degree in English literature. I don’t see the point of it.
Too much of conflict in one paragraph?
I’m a literature enthusiast, but I don’t have a paper from a university to certify my interest. I study literature by studying the literature itself. Not the textbooks that other people (who think they have conquered the subject) wrote. Because when it comes to the written word, there’s no one way to understand it. There’s no right or wrong in interpretation.
Our system of education, however, forces students to read, understand, and memorise other people’s ideas. This may seem sensible for science or mathematics. Because those subjects rely on facts, and facts are facts no matter who writes them where.
But literature has more do with individuals. I don’t see the world the same way my mother sees it — even though she showed me the world. When no two people comprehend the same scene in the same way, how sensible is it to thrust one person’s perspective on a larger crowd?
But I love studying literature.
The best think about literature is that the student makes the decision. If you think it’s right, it is. If you think Shakespeare predicted British colonisation in his Tempest, then so be it. You are entitled to your opinion. The literature never tells you what to think. But a degree in literature not only tells you what to think, it also forces you to agree with textbook writers.
And that’s why I see no point in a degree in literature.
Cross-posting from my Medium blog.