Not everyone can afford, or has the time, for formal education, so I wanted to share a couple of resources today about where you can learn more about literature. This is a part of my serious Lit discussions I started in July, and then completely forgot about. Anyway, let’s pretend I’m better organized than that, and move on!
Some of you might be aware of how much of a nerd I am. I am addicted to learning, whether that be via my University or online. One of my favourite websites in existence is Future Learn—I should clarify that I’m not sponsored (unfortunately), I just really bloody love this website. All the courses are free and are put together by Universities around the world. For some courses, you can purchase certificates to prove you’ve completed it, but it’s not necessary. They have courses for every subject under the sun, and I may or may not be obsessed.
In a similar strain, there is this post by Open Culture, which is just a list of online free Literature courses. These are on different websites, and on whole range of topics so it’s worth a search through.
Companions and Critical Editions
If you have a particular author, genre or book, you might be able to find a companion or critical edition to go with it. These are great if you want a really intense look at a particular subject.
The ones I’ve personally seen around the most online are the Cambridge Companions to Literature and Classics. They have companions for basically everything—Children’s Literature, Latina/o American Literature, French Literature, Shakespeare etc.
These two also do companions to texts and ideas. They have most of the same ones as Cambridge, but these seem to be less available online.
Norton Critical Editions
Also known as, the books that single-handedly got me through University. These are a little different to the companions in that they focus solely on one text. Each edition has the original text, plus a collection of critical essays and contemporary reviews. They are honestly life-saving if you need to write an essay on a particular book.
If you’re looking for some YouTube videos, the most popular choice is probably the Green brothers Crash Course Literature series. These are definitely fun, but I desperately wish there were more of these.
Another channel is The School of Life. They do videos about all sorts of things, but they have a series on Literature too. There aren’t too many out at the moment, but they’re still great.
So there it is, a few resources on where to learn more about Literature if you so desire. This is by no means an extensive list, but I might consider continuing on with this as I find new things. Of course, the best way to learn is just to keep reading!
Please let me know if you do use any of these websites, and what you think of them!