I was a literature major at university and graduate school. My focus of interest was two-fold: Medieval English Literature and English Restoration Drama. Of course the more restrictive education policies of the 1960s focused my studies on time-honored literature and literary theory but I embraced many misdirections and biases in my reading: a poor regard for American literature, a violent disdain for best-sellers, a preference for poetry over prose, an almost complete avoidance of anything considered “Victorian.”
That I didn’t decline into a career of tedious lecturing and tweed hunting jackets I owe to, in two words: Grove Press.
Now, fifty years later, I have been somewhat successful in overcoming these early biases. I have read Dickens and even Gissing; I am openly intrigued by postmodernism as well as Bizarro Fiction; I read mostly novels although my academic preferences continue to be for poetry and drama; I try to include a couple of contemporary writings every month and am often pleasantly surprised; but I still find Henry James unfathomably tedious.