Lit-Ra-Chur April 3, 2008
When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)
Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++The word LITERATURE sends shivers down my spine. Mrs. Worsham and AP English Lit spring to mind. I can almost see her pinched face and hear her trembly voice saying, “Class, read chapters 11-17 tonight, be ready to discuss the plot analysis flow map tomorrow and our quiz will be Friday. Any questions?” I think of dealing with clunky language and archaic turns of phrase, questioning every possible motivation for each character, discussing the merits and relevance of the work to modern times, and I shudder. For me, this has nothing to do with reading for pleasure. But it was also many years ago.It occurs to me that I ought to give the dreaded LITERATURE another chance, reading it without deadlines and threat of a poor grade if I don’t quite understand the broader themes. Our book club has talked about reading some classics, and that’s been met with some groans and a roll of the eyes from me, but maybe it’s time.What about you? Do you read LITERATURE, or fear it?
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