So... a few weeks back I started studying for the GRE's =/
In October, I will be taking both the general one and the subject test in literature.
Initially, I felt pretty good about my grasp on the literary side of things. I mean, I haven't read nearly as much as I should -- and certainly not as much as some of my friends [ahem!]. But while there are many books in the canon I haven't read, I have in one way or another become familiar with quite a few of them. Studies of English tend to include some knowledge through osmosis. For instance, I've not yet read Vanity Fair or Thackeray at all [ =/ ] - but Jane Eyre is dedicated to Thackeray and so one sort of picks up on things. There are famous opening lines and poems referred to off-handedly. And, of course, Shakespeare abounds everywhere.
But! I was in for a very rude awakening when I cracked open my GRE English practice test and this was the first question I came across:
Ummm... I've read Wordsworth (actually his Tintern Abbey) and Eliot. But, to my recollection, I have never even heard of the others - yikes! But more than the particular authors they're listing - I was astonished at the form of the question. Identification from three, non-sequential lines?
Oh, heaven help us!
Alright... back to my study session.