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Thread: Suggestions for Lit. research paper?

  1. #1
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    Suggestions for Lit. research paper?

    I have a series of research papers I need to start soon. One is on the art of Vincent Van Gogh and I am already enjoying researching and writing it.

    However, I need to write a second research paper on an author for English Literature. I thought I would make a go of trying to pick a writer working in the same time period of Van Gogh - roughly 1850 to 1900.

    I am considering H.G. Wells, but can anyone suggest another author in the same time rough time period? I have to get the topic approved and I want to be armed with at least three names.

    Thank you in advance,
    Solfe

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    Eadward Lear?

    How could you not want to investigate the author who brought us the Owl and the Pussycat? The Pobble Who Had No Toes? and such characters as the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo (who was seriously macrocephalic) or the Quangle-Wangle Quee who was...I haven't a clue. But he wasn't made like us, having once got his head stuck in his shoe.
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    Kipling is right in your time frame, but might be a bit of a hot potato, I think it's still in vogue to revile him as an apologist for colonization and ignore that he was brilliant at characterization and a genius for story, but that pendulum may have swung back to where it's acceptable to call him a remarkably good author again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Kipling is right in your time frame, but might be a bit of a hot potato, I think it's currently in vogue to revile him as an apologist for colonization and ignore that he was brilliant at characterization, but that pendulum may have swung back to where it's acceptable to call him a vary good author again.
    I must of missed that. When the ex left I went mentally numb for about five years during which time they completely reinvented the pronunciation guides in dictionaries. First time I saw that, I thought I was having a stroke. (*sniff*, *sniff* Does anybody else smell toast?)
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    If you actually like Kipling, of course. (Full disclosure--I've only read the poetry, where it's harder to ignore the colonization, and The Just-So Stories, which are awfully patronizing but cute.) But that's the issue; the game of "pick an author" here is forgetting that there was, even then, such thing as genre. I do think Mark Twain is a worth subject of study regardless, but there are many kinds of writing and many kinds of writers. I dislike making blanket suggestions based on nothing more than a fifty-year chunk of time.
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    But *everybody* does Twain and Kipling!

    Coming up with something new is going to be tough! He has to impress people who are going to be a tough sell! (Not that you don't know that already.) He doesn't want to sound like a three cord rocker at a music fest!

    Since Solfe is spending real money on this education thing, he or she needs some lower hanging fruit since it is available. Even if Lear isn't the guy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    But *everybody* does Twain and Kipling!
    Yes, but not everyone has read those research papers written on Twain. If that makes sense. Recently I read an article in Newsweek that revealed never before seen letters that Twain wrote around the time of his daughter's death.

    Read this. :)


    “I lost Susy thirteen years ago; I lost her mother—her incomparable mother!—five and a half years ago; Clara has gone away to live in Europe; and now I have lost Jean. How poor I am, who was once so rich! … Jean lies yonder, I sit here; we are strangers under our own roof; we kissed hands good-by at this door last night—and it was forever, we never suspecting it. She lies there, and I sit here—writing, busying myself, to keep my heart from breaking. How dazzlingly the sunshine is flooding the hills around! It is like a mockery."

    Too beautiful.

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    Poe and Twain are my teachers favorites so I think I will steer clear of those two. I wrote on Kipling and Baden-Powell last semester. Verne and Wells are interesting, but odd ducks as they are both past futurists. Lear looks interesting and made me think of Lewis Caroll. Khalil Gibran sounds neat too.

    All of those names were great. Thanks for the help.
    Solfe

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    Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, Jane Austin? They predate your 1850-1900 timeline by a bit, though you did say 'roughly'...Jack London might work for you as well. Also Jules Verne, though he wasn't english. Come to think of it, neither was Jack London. Not sure if you're limited to English-born authors, or authors who were native speakers of English...Beatrix Potter might be a good candidate too.

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    Oscar Wilde.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redshifter View Post
    Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, Jane Austin? They predate your 1850-1900 timeline by a bit, though you did say 'roughly'...Jack London might work for you as well. Also Jules Verne, though he wasn't english. Come to think of it, neither was Jack London. Not sure if you're limited to English-born authors, or authors who were native speakers of English...Beatrix Potter might be a good candidate too.
    Austen. But that was my point; reading Dracula or Around the World in 80 Days are different from reading Peter Rabbit or Emma or Call of the Wild, all of which are also different from one another. What do you want to read? I've been asked "what DVDs should I own?" To which my response was, "What movies do you like?"
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    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    George Eliot, Henry James, Conrad, George MacDonald, Swinburne, Charles Kingsley, ...

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    I'd vote for Joseph Conrad. Of course, he wasn't English. Or you could pick a novelist become politician: Disraeli. Trollope may also be worth a paper or two.
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    If you go with Jack London, you can check out his science fiction.

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    Thanks for the reminder; I'd forgotten that he wrote science fiction. The collection is now in my Kindle, for a whole 99 cents.

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    Hum... I never knew that Jack London wrote science fiction. I may not write a paper on him, but now I have some good things to read this summer.

    I knew I would get great suggestions from all of you. Thanks again!
    Solfe

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    So, which one did you go with? How'd it go?

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    Grapes,

    It went pretty well. I opted to do a compare and contrast paper using Elizabeth Bishop and Kathleen Mansfield. Both writers were born in the approximately time period I was looking for, but I enjoyed researching them.

    The second paper was almost as forced as the first. It was on Shakespeare's Hamlet, Elizabeth Bishop's Sestina, and John Updike's A&P. The theme was youth and my thesis statement was something to the effect of "No matter one's education, status, or gender; each of us experience common events that shape our lives."

    I ended up with an A in the course but considering that the second paper was as long as first and popped up as a surprise in the last week of the class, it was not enjoyable.
    Solfe

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    Sestinas are very nastily constrained, I think very few poets can handle that form well.
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    I don't know if Jules Verne qualifies. He falls within the dates you specify. Surely his translated work is
    considered first rate and he surely is a wonderfully descriptive writer with a penchant for future vision and creativity.

    Edgar Allan Poe just missed out ....1849 . Pity .

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Sestinas are very nastily constrained, I think very few poets can handle that form well.
    Those who can't, write compare and contrast essays.

    When reading up on this, I had thought that a few modern songs followed this format. On further review, I couldn't find a single one in my CD collection. Does any one know of a modern song written as a sestina?
    Solfe

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