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Classic books.... just not my idea of classic

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Posted on 22 Jul 2012 10:25:12 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I still believe that badly or indifferently taught English Literature can do more harm than good. I usually enjoyed English, but still have memories of those terrible lessons with an uninspiring and clearly bored teacher forcing an equally uninspired and bored class of students to read out Henry IV Part 1. As for the poetry - it was dire beyond belief. I suspect that most of my fellow pupils never touched Shakespeare or poetry again. Indeed, I probably would have avoided the Bard, had not a favourite Uncle & Aunt persuaded me to go to a RADA production of "Romeo & Juliet" and opened my eyes to what Shakespeare was really all about.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2012 10:32:52 BDT
Thanks, Oracle - I'd sort of missed that post (and the one or two following).

What I imagine happened was that someone on the exam board, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the 'older'(?) classics wouldn't resonate with students, and so went for a 'modern classic' (which is how it is described on the product page). And yes, it probably was some ideologue who decided on the book. So I go back on my parenthetical statement in my previous post - I am now aware of (at least one) set text that was probably chosen its ideological reasons!

Believe me, I have similar gripes with the History syllabus (which is what I teach). There are topics included on almost every exam board's syllabus which I believe are there for ideological reasons, and it frustrates me.
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In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2012 12:47:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jul 2012 12:50:34 BDT
Frank Mundo says:
I'll stick up for it. I love CITR and LOTF and Of Mice and Men and pretty much every one of the classics mentioned on this thread. In fact, I'm shocked and confused when I hear people don't like these books. Shakespeare and Chaucer are gods to me, and I couldn't care less how or what teachers teach. My education is my life-long responsibility and has little to do with a teacher.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2012 13:09:32 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2012 13:10:47 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jul 2012 13:13:33 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2012 08:55:32 BDT
sistermoon says:
My class had to read Julius Caesar and Henry V. The only thing I really got out of the last was that the 'a little touch of Harry in the night' line inspired the title of Harry Nilsson's 'A Little Touch Of Schmillson In The Night' album!

Tess of The D'Urbervilles was really hard going. If Roman Polanski had done the film in the 90's/2000's I think PJ Harvey would have been a shoo-in for doing the soundtrack album!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jul 2012 13:01:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jul 2012 14:53:06 BDT
Nugent_Dirt says:
I was for a long time Sou'. Many years later I went back to some of them, and ....they still bore the @r$e off me. I realised my hatred of them was'nt so much to do with the teachers but that most of the novels forced on us should never have been given classic status in the first place....IMO. Managed to get a D in Eng Lit which was OK as I was heading for an F.
As for CITR, I enjoyed it when I read it as a teen. Somehow I connected more with Holden Caulfield than I did with Elizabeth Bennett.

Posted on 31 Jul 2012 10:03:02 BDT
I. Byrne says:
what are all those 'rules' we have in writing now a days? Who made those 'rules'? And why are the most successful authors those who follow none of these 'rules'?
and to be honest, the classics don't either - guess they were written before the 'rules' were.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  59
Initial post:  19 Jul 2012
Latest post:  31 Jul 2012

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