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Re: [mythsoc] Summer Reading List Blues

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  • Christine Howlett
    English teachers seem to have a lot to answer for! I learned to think that literature must be something quite unpleasant after being marched through Dickens
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 23, 2004
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      English teachers seem to have a lot to answer for! I learned to think that
      literature must be something quite unpleasant after being marched through
      Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities" in junior high (which requires a lot more
      historical context than most eighth-graders have). And I LOVED to read at
      the time, would read cereal boxes if nothing else offered. I took the
      required English comp course in college and then abandoned the English
      department with relief. After college, while idling in a friend's house and
      feeling very bored, I picked up Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" with no
      expectation of any pleasure and was amazed at how wonderful it was. Within
      a short time thereafter, I had read all of Austen's books, all of Dickens,
      most of Trolloppe, several of Thackeray, George Meredith's "The Egoist"
      (unjustly neglected), and the Bronte sisters' books. I still don't like
      "Tale of Two Cities"; I think it's Dickens sappiest and it doesn't have the
      comic relief of the minor characters and subplots - but then it's the
      shortest and I think that's why teachers choose it. I have to admit I
      really like Dickens generally. I even spent real money just to have the
      Oxford hardbound set.

      Has anyone tried Jasper Fforde's fantasies where the protagonists get caught
      up 'inside' these books? I liked the first, "The Eyre Affair" tremendously.

      Christine
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "David Bratman" <dbratman@...>
      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 12:00 AM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Summer Reading List Blues


      > On the one hand, two of my elementary-school teachers (in unwitting
      > collaboration) were responsible for introducing me to _The Hobbit_. For
      > which I am eternally grateful. That book changed my life.
      >
      > On the other hand, I was fed crappy "relevant" literature even then, in
      the
      > 60s. I remember in particular a loathsomely high-minded book called _The
      > Pigman_ by Paul Zindel.
      >
      > I was also fed a lot of crap that was distinguished as "great literature."
      > Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad are the ones that still make me flinch
      > the most.
      >
      > On the third hand, I discovered and loathed Dickens all on my own.
      >
      > On the fourth hand, the great author probably most loathed by the most
      > students, Shakespeare, is one I lapped up eagerly both in school and at
      > performances I went to voluntarily.
      >
      > - David Bratman
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Berni Phillips
      From: Christine Howlett ... caught ... tremendously. Oh, yes! It was recommended to me by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull so I
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 23, 2004
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        From: "Christine Howlett" <chowlett@...>
        >
        > Has anyone tried Jasper Fforde's fantasies where the protagonists get
        caught
        > up 'inside' these books? I liked the first, "The Eyre Affair"
        tremendously.

        Oh, yes! It was recommended to me by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull so I
        thought, hey, if they recommend it, it must be good! I loved it and the
        whole concept of a universe taking books so seriously. I enjoyed _Lost in a
        Good Book_, too, but I like the first the best (maybe because you have all
        the wonder of being introduced to these things).

        Berni
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