How English is English lit?

20th August 2004 at 01:00
Your article "Diploma threatened by maths opposition" (TES, July 23) reports on proposals to "study 'communications' rather than English literature or language" Apart from the irony of this statement, now is really time to discuss the appropriateness of the labelling of "English literature".

Is it not a bit odd that John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, which is an American book, featured as a set text in some of this year's English literature exams?

Steinbeck's works are part of the curriculum in a lot of other countries but they just call the subject "literature".

"Literature" is the right title for the subject, especially as the specification for GCSE English Literature says that "the majority of the works studied must be literary texts originally written in English but works in translation may also be included".

Ana Hyde

Chapel House

The Street, Bradwell Village

Braintree, Essex

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