A bit of a different question this one, but it’s something I think you need to have in mind when you’re writing.
One of the things my English degree (and subsequent Masters) gave me was a good (though far from brilliant) understanding of the literary canon. And that’s helped me put my writing in context – I know what other writers I’m like and what tradition I’m writing in.
I think that’s a useful thing, but you might disagree. You might think that the only thing that really matters is the work itself. You know, what you actually write. Have a watch and let me know what you think – I’d be really interested to hear.