After being in some sort of college for nearly 8 years, and studying English in some way for even longer, I’ve finally realized: Marx just will not leave a girl alone.
I took Lit Crit as a college freshman. When I was a freshman I was more concerned about who I would invite to my sorority’s next date party than learning about a bunch of old theorists. As an English major, I’ve always leaned in the creative direction. The word “theory” alone makes me gag and the idea of being an expert for an ENTIRE LITERARY PERIOD absolutely terrifies me. I mean, seriously? A lot of books exist in the world. I’d rather just read the interesting ones, thanks.
It wasn’t until my MFA program that I questioned my motives for becoming a writer. Many of my fellow writers seem to have specific reasons for why they write. Even if they’ve been writing since childhood, like me, they also seemed to have a specific reason for why they continued to write as adults, backed up with knowledge on their favorite authors and such. Me? I have my favorite authors and I like words, but honestly, I continued writing because I enjoyed it. I never worried about that reasoning until I realized that, no matter what, I’m not going to be able to shake these theorists that I’ve consistently learned about and also consistently forgotten about. And Marx just keeps on coming back around again. Does forgetting about him make me a bad writer?
Okay, so my logic is not super solid right now. It’s the end of the school year. I just wrote a 15 page paper on Natasha Tretheway’s Beyond Katrina: A Mediation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where I used the word “coast” 47 times, “Tretheway” 62 times, and “Mississippi” 35 times. My brain is tired. And now it’s being invaded with these “don’t screw around on your Winter break” thoughts to which I just want to respond “Shut up! I’m gonna go watch ’30 Rock’ now.”
I am determined to make my Winter break successful. I got really good at writing everyday at the beginning of this month, only breaking the habit because of the Tretheway paper. Now I have to decide what books to read, and if they should be those “these will make you a better writer” book or “I want to read Life of Pi and Les Miserables because the movie previews look awesome and, let’s face it, I should have read them a long time ago.”
But honestly, MARX. Freakin Marx. He’s like the rude party guest that keeps showing back up, just when you think you’ve gotten rid of him…. We discussed him in class last night and I had honestly forgotten about the lecture over him that we had three weeks prior. That’s how much I’m ready to get rid of that dude.