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RE: [mythsoc] Re-reading

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  • Croft, Janet B.
    I do a lot of re-reading. Some of the reasons have already been mentioned -- I already know it s going to be good and not a waste of my time, I see new depths
    Message 1 of 33 , Nov 22, 2004
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      I do a lot of re-reading. Some of the reasons have already been
      mentioned -- I already know it's going to be good and not a waste of my
      time, I see new depths each time I read it, I'm planning to write
      something about it, or a new book in the series has come out and I want
      to review what happened before. Sometimes I just want to spend some
      time with some familiar faces instead of making the effort to meet
      someone new, so I'll re-read, say, all the Miles Vorkosigan books or all
      the Ngaio Marsh mysteries I own. I often re-read on plane trips,
      because it's less of an annoyance if I get interrupted or can't
      concentrate well. I also re-read "A Christmas Carol" annually, and I
      started re-reading a batch of World War I poems on Veteran's Day a few
      years ago -- the ritual re-readings.

      Maybe it's just because I have a librarian's memory -- I forget exactly
      what I read but I remember where to find it. But it may also be, as
      someone else suggested, growing up with a relatively small public
      library and checking out my favorites over and over again because
      nothing else looked as good. But do you listen to a piece of music once
      and never go back to it again, or watch a classic movie just once? To
      me a good story is the same -- I know exactly the effect "The Importance
      of Being Earnest" or "It's a GOOD Life," for radically different
      examples, are going to have on me, and I remember the plots quite well,
      but I'll read them again just to be carried along by the story.


      Janet Brennan Croft
    • Mike Foster
      I recently re-read That Hideous Strength, in a new pb edition, to refresh myself with it in order to teach it in college after at least seven years unread
      Message 33 of 33 , Dec 11, 2004
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        I recently re-read That Hideous Strength, in a new pb edition, to
        refresh myself with it in order to teach it in college after at least
        seven years unread wholly.

        Short verdict: I admire it more & liked it less.

        The dualities of plot and character and setting are exquisitely
        drawn--Grace Ironwood vs. Fairy Hardcastle, for one. Lewis has some
        wonderful symbolic vignettes, like the shattering of the window at
        Bragdon. The Objective Room is Orwellian before Orwell.

        But this Ransom [d]evolution into a Mini-Williams gave me the willies
        even more this time through, probably my fourth complete review--a
        perfectly good character spoiled by apotheosis of sorts. If there is
        such a thing as pompous humility, here 'tis. The bit with encouraging
        Bultitude's conjugality with that nice lady bear he'd picked up at
        Belbury forced a disbelieving embarrassed out-loud laugh.

        So there it is. When we go back to the readings of truly great
        books--and I can think of four for starters--we are dazzled by something
        new never noticed before--a gem in the grass, as it were.

        Other times, we notice a toad that hadn't really bothered us before.
        Wait a minute...two toads.

        Cheers,
        Mike

        dianejoy@... wrote:

        >Great to hear from you. Are you working on a new book? ---djb
        >
        >Original Message:
        >-----------------
        >From: Pauline J. Alama PJAlama@...
        >Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 21:57:14 -0000
        >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Re-reading
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >I'm kind of at the other end of the spectrum from Wendell on
        >re-reading. I am pretty choosy about what I read, and often find I
        >would rather re-read an "old friend" than read something new
        >that fails to capture my imagination strongly.
        >
        >I'm one of those who like multi-layered books that reward
        >re-reading, though some might be surprised at what I include in
        >that category (such as the Harry Potter books). I also enjoy
        >re-reading a book with a twisty plot and noticing how different it
        >all seems when I know where the turns are taking me.
        >
        >I think I re-read favorite books as a way of incorporating them into
        >myself. As someone said, the more you re-read, the more you
        >memorize. The books I re-read most avidly in childhood (Alice in
        >Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, Grimm's Fairy Tales,
        >the Prydain Chronicles, and the Phantom Tollbooth probably top
        >the list) shaped my vocabulary -- both my literal vocabulary of
        >words and a figurative vocabulary of imaginative symbols. The
        >books I've re-read obsessively as an adult (Robertson Davies'
        >Deptford Trilogy, Patricia A. McKillip's Riddle-Master Trilogy, and
        >the Brothers Karamazov -- a pretty odd assortment, I admit) each
        >feel like a door to some deeply buried part of my mind that I need
        >to revisit now and then.
        >
        >Pauline
        >Pauline J. Alama
        >www.geocities.com/paulinejalama/paulinealama.html
        >
        >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "dianejoy@e..."
        ><dianejoy@e...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >>I re-read some books (most notably Tolkien, CSL and Dorothy
        >>
        >>
        >Sayers *Mind of
        >
        >
        >>the Maker*) and certain passages in other books that I think
        >>
        >>
        >are truly fine
        >
        >
        >>writing. I like re-reading, but like you, I go on to the next. ---djb
        >>
        >>Original Message:
        >>-----------------
        >>From: WendellWag@a...
        >>Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 17:11:33 EST
        >>To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        >>Subject: [mythsoc] Re-reading
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>In our discussion in last night's Knossos (the
        >>
        >>
        >Washington-D.C.-area
        >
        >
        >>Mythopoeic Society group) meeting, we talked about re-reading
        >>
        >>
        >books. It
        >
        >
        >>appears that
        >>I'm unusual among heavy readers in that I seldom re-read a
        >>
        >>
        >book. It's
        >
        >
        >>apparently standard as a child to go through a phase of
        >>
        >>
        >reading the same
        >
        >
        >>book over and
        >>over, at least for people who go on to be heavy readers. I've
        >>
        >>
        >read _The
        >
        >
        >>Hobbit_ six times, _The Lord of the Rings_ five times, and _Till
        >>
        >>
        >We Have
        >
        >
        >>Faces_
        >>three times (and these times are over a period of about 35
        >>
        >>
        >years), but I'd
        >
        >
        >>be
        >>hard pressed to think of any other books I've read more than
        >>
        >>
        >twice. Nearly
        >
        >
        >>everything else I've only read once. I guess I've always felt that
        >>
        >>
        >I'd
        >
        >
        >>rather
        >>move on to the next book rather than re-read something. What
        >>
        >>
        >do you people
        >
        >
        >>do?
        >>
        >>Wendell Wagner
        >>
        >>
        >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >>Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
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        >Yahoo! Groups Links
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