Letter to the Editor: Jan. 11

Dear Opinions Editor,

As a master’s student in English, I cannot concur more with Alexandra Mantella’s excellent column on the value of studying older literature. While I certainly believe that there’s a place for the study of contemporary literature, its inclusion in the discipline shouldn’t mean dispensing with the classics. Rather, as she states, “Literary works are meant to be challenging.” 

In the graduate program at Queen’s, we are required to take at least one course each in the three broad time periods of literature (pre-1600, 1600-1900 and 1900-onwards). Not only does this requirement allow us to explore literature outside of our own specialties, but it also ensures that a solid foundation is acquired in common literary trends throughout the years. While literary genres developed in the medieval and Renaissance periods may seem distant to us now, they still inform current popular culture (think of the epic and contemporary superhero movies). Indeed, it is only by examining the literary works of the past that we can truly understand how themes and styles have evolved overtime.

Regards,

Natasha Lomonossoff

 

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