Creative Writing vs. English Literature

<p>** I posted a reply in another thread asking this question.</p>

<p>Which is harder? Which one is more selected as a major/minor? And what are the nuanced differences between the two? I'm considering either as a minor to compliment by a science major. I think I'm a good, not great, writer and reader/analyzer. I would like to get better at both skills, but I doubt I have schedule room to explore both options.</p>

<p>I can't speak about UR, but literature is vastly different from creative writing. That is likely harping on the obvious: the former is study of what has been written and the latter is the study of writing. The real nuance when you're reading and discussing material is literature focuses much more on the meaning of the work versus how it is written. Meaning can be historical or post-modern, sometimes both these days since post-modernism has lost its grip on criticism. This drives the selection of pieces; you might read Hardy for meaning and context but probably not as a model for writing. You'll find more commonality in someone like Stein or Joyce because the way it is written is so deeply intertwined with how it is written. </p>

<p>My advice to anyone who likes close reading, who wants to develop that skill, is to take some form of poetry. I also think that's the best preparation for law school because it is the closest analysis and is more similar to legal reasoning than regular criticism, which focuses less on individual words and paragraphs and more on overall intent and thrust. I can't recommend any era to study. It really depend on what attracts you. As a note, I know that Rumi, the great Sufi poet, is taught through the religious studies department. That is worth reading.</p>

<p>I think you just made me want to do English Lit that much more. I had decided definitively on it yesterday, but you have reinforced my decision. However, reading through UR guidelines, I think that CWriting is open to everyone, while English Lit isn't. I guess we'll have to wait and see.</p>

<p>You don't decide this in your 1st year anyway. But I don't think there's an entrance req for lit. There is for creative writing as a major, which makes sense.</p>

<p>Yeah, there's not an entrance "requirement" for lit... just that you'll have to go meet with the major representative, express interest, talk about what classes you've taken and what you might want to take in the future. Pretty much what you'd do with any major, right? And if you're not sure about majoring/minoring, talk to professors and students involved with the major. You can also explore the interest outside class, there's an undergraduate council for English. There's also a Medieval society for undergrads, if that sort of lit appeals to you, which has a number of people majoring/interested in English at Rochester.</p>