Ok, so after approximately six days of being the most disgusting, slovenly individual on the face of the planet and only leaving the flat once, I have finally decided to knuckle down to some long overdue revision for my 'Textual Communities' exam.
I began by accessing the links to past papers that had been festering in my university inbox for at least two weeks, deliberately ignored in the hope they'd simply trickle away if avoided for long enough.
Alas! No. In fact, the words of Tony Lee, 'is this some kind of joke?', were inescapable as I surveyed the boundless impossibilities of what the vaguest, most inpenetrable module had to offer me in terms of 'assessment'. Here, in the hope of prompting immense sympathy from my readership, or at least inciting mockery for my faculty, I have listed some of the most ridiculous questions that I am going to be expected to write on for two hours in order to make up sixty percent of my modular marks.
Please bear in mind that the reading list for this course was clearly contrived by either a madman or someone absolutely ripping the piss. Why not also consider how you would incorporate just one of the following 'texts' into answering ANY of the questions: 'The Complete Maus', Art Spiegelman (graphic novel), 'Persepolis', Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel), 'Boethius' (Roman elegy later translated into Anglo Saxon verse then prose), 'Schindler's List' (film by Spielberg), 'The Rime of the Ancient mariner', Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poem), '253', Geoff Ryman (novel by lecturer at the Uni, a-hah.), some history on Medieval copying and binding of books and finally 'Inferno', Dante (scary stuff involving a cone-shaped Hell and interfamilial cannibalism.)
Right, so just imagine turning over the exam paper to unveil the following beauts:
1) 'If there are twenty-five poems in a book, the book itself ought to be the twenty-sixth poem'. (Robert Frost). Discuss this statement with reference to AT LEAST ONE text.
2) 'There are no such things as "texts", only "work". Discuss with reference to the texts/works of AT LEAST TWO authors.
3) Using ONE OR MORE texts that you have read, discuss the ways in which the text itself constructs or defines its intended audience.
4) 'There is no such thing as a theory of a work' (Foucault). With reference to AT LEAST ONE text discuss the problems surrounding the identification or definition of a 'work'.
5) 'Once the Author is removed, the claim to decipher a text becomes quite futile' (Barthes). Discuss this statement with reference to AT LEAST ONE text.
I don't even know how to attempt revision.