The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

continued from yesterday...

Just a thought: I wonder how well the great critics/scholars of the past, such as Northrop Frye, Cleanth Brooks, W.K. Wimsatt, T.S. Eliot, and even Harold Bloom etc, etc, would fare if they were in their mid 20s applying for a PhD in North America. Probably not very well. What's interesting, remembering my experience getting into the MA, is that the genuinely intelligent people who applied usually had the toughest time getting in (I knew one guy who was learning Sanskrit, etc, and he couldn't get into either York or UofT, but there were definitely people at both institutions I knew who weren't half the scholar he was). I'm told admissions has nothing to do with how smart one is (no kidding), but it begs me to ask, what is it based on???


Anonymous zelda said...

I have no idea. It's a gamble. And it's foolish to play into trying to figure out the game - because there are no guarantees. There are lots of great candidates - everyone has good grades and great refs. But I think grad schools are most impressed with publications - they pee their pants about this stuff (I don't think I ever would have gotten into the PhD had I not published an article based on my Master's thesis); scholarships and awards; and evidence of having done research (they want to see what you did for your honours and master's theses). Even if you have these things, then sometimes they just don't have a supervisor who's interested in you. It's brutal.

12:12 p.m.  

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