Re: [mythsoc] Summer Reading List Blues
- 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.
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Bratman" <dbratman@...>
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
> 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
- From: "Christine Howlett" <chowlett@...>
> Has anyone tried Jasper Fforde's fantasies where the protagonists get
> 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).