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 Post subject: Why?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:37 am 
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Okay,
I have a bit of a question... I"m not sure if this should be in Literature Talk, but seeing as how it's a comment on books, I figured this is as good as anything...

With all the amazing books out there from all over the globe, why in the name of goodness are they teaching "Catcher in the Rye", or "Fifth Business" in school? Is there not another book by Robertson Davies that is different than a fifty year old man discussing his sex life with us? Don't get me wrong... it was a very well-structured book... but I'm not sure the relevance to a Grade 12 English class.

*shakes head* :?

And 'Catcher in the Rye'... how did this ever get picked to be taught... everyone I used to go to school with all agreed with me when they saw no sense in making us read a book about a boy going through puberty... and it's apparently a classic? I'm very confused as to how this made its way into the high school system....

If you ask me, they should update the system a little bit! Get some more recent authors. I'd love to hear feedback on how anyone else feels about this! Maybe I'm just a little too opinionated for my own good sometimes! :P


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:05 pm 
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Well I'm not American so I don't go through the same selected books as you do, I've read Catcher in the Rye and must agree, although I think the book is good, there's nothing really stand-out about it. I was hastened to read it by my father, who liked it, I mean not be rude but perhaps it only carries the same weight as a classic for the generation who first read it... certainly in some other classics I have found it quite hard to relate although in most others the writing has been easily worthy of being given a 'classic' title.

I had to study Lord Of The Flies for my GCSE exam, any comments on that book as an exam piece? I have to say that there were a lot of themes and ideas you could express, which was very good providing you were apt at getting the quotes from the novel from notes.

-fish are quick!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 5:27 am 
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Lol... I'm Canadian...
I did Lord of the Flies too, and I actually didn't mind that book that much... there's lots of goodies in there. Lots of different themes, no matter what way you looked at it... somehow my teacher allowed me to look at it in a religious context and I found that both challenging and interesting!

I'd like to think that in university the book selections got better, but I remember reading one book that was just ridiculous... "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and I don't remember who it's by, but it is one of the most difficult books I've read and it was just terrible! The other books that my professor chose were pretty good... I liked "The Jade Peony"... I can't remember the author's name (probably because it's Monday morning and my brain's not functioning too much!), but I remember it being pretty good.

There's some great books out there... why do we still have to read 'classics' (as defined by an older generation)? Like "Death of a Salesman" too... that book was terribly depressing, I thought!

*SIGH*

Nothing I can do about it, I guess. At least we got to read Shakespeare! :P


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 6:51 am 
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Why do we read classics?

Classics are supposed to be timeless pieces of work, classics generally have an appeal to them, i.e. they have a very original theme or plot, other's are just superbly well written. I think people should read classics, perhaps not, an overload but rather a selected few, classics help define good writing from bad, they set the standard to which other novels follow. I came across an interesting question elsewhere on the internet recently:

Which of today's novels do you think will be regarded as classics in the future?

-fish are quick!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:04 am 
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What an intriguing question, Fish!

Hee hee.. hopefully one of mine... of course, it's going to take me a lifetime to write them and actually get them published to begin with! Lol
I'm not sure... I guess it all depends on what's being discussed... and what grade you're talking about... although if it were up to me I'd skip the fiction and just have everyone teach Shakespeare, 'cause I love him!!! Of course... you've got to get a good teacher who knows what he or she is doing, 'cause then you can actually understand what the heck he's trying to say!

'Trix <><


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2003 3:23 pm 
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Fish Are Quick wrote:

Which of today's novels do you think will be regarded as classics in the future?

-fish are quick!


thats a very good question. First let me say that I believe Lord of the Flies is a universal book, one of limitless relevance. (I remember incorporating the word "wizard" into my slang after readint it *yo, that girl is totally wizard*)

Fish- Who are the people to judge what books will be classics tomorrow? Mostly mainstream America... people who are our peers (i'm assuming your young like me (20)). My friends like to play playstation (I do too), watch senseless rap (I do not) and never heard of Kafka. Hemmingway to them is the name of a local middle school and Stephen Crane is faceless./

I hope that most of Kurt VOnnegut's books will become classics, as will Catch-22. Also maybe one or two of Anne Rice due to her "gothic" concepts and the importance of how popular her books were in our modern AMERICAN society. I like Michael Crichton too as some of his books are thought provoking as a best seller can be. Honestly, don't read too much of post 60's books. I love Collen McCollough *(SP???)* with her Roman Chronicles. I also like James Clavell.

Oh and DragonLance you FUCKERS!!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:23 am 
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There are some interesting thoughts flying around here. Lord of the Flies is a book that I have read. To be quite frank, I really wasn't hit by supreme greatness. :)

However, although there are many 'classics', we must remember that these shall never be a 'classic' for everyone, and what might be a 'classic' today, might not be a 'classic' tomorrow.

In a modern library [In England] classics are more commonly now known as bestsellers. The books that sell best, are likely to be read more and more, while those that do not, will have little attention drawn to them.

If I'm bored, and I'm looking for a book to read I don't wander round looking for a book. I simply take myself over to a small shelf, that has some of the bestsellers at the moment. That way, I presume I'll be reading quality. :mrgreen: I don't always recommend it though. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:18 pm 
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[quote="greekboy3000"]
In a modern library [In England] classics are more commonly now known as bestsellers. The books that sell best, are likely to be read more and more, while those that do not, will have little attention drawn to them.
quote]

exactly. So looking at the state of today's readiny youth, tomorrow's classics aren't exactly going to be the most "intellectual" books of our time.

I would put money on Harry Potter and other various crap becoming "classics" of our time

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 3:31 pm 
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Oracle17, I'll start a new thread about Harry Potter to see what people here think about the series and whether they like it or not.

Greekboy mentioned bestsellers, but it should be pointed out that many novels that are classics now were re-recognized if you will later and sold more after the author's death, for whatever reason.

Keep your opinions coming in, what books in the last few years should be classics?

-fish are quick!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 2:26 am 
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[quote="Which of today's novels do you think will be regarded as classics in the future?
-fish are quick![/quote] The ones that sell of course! Definately Anne Rice and in the UK I suspect that within a couple of hundred years we'll see Irvine Welsh looked on as a classic author.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:35 pm 
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My opinion? Anne Rice can't write worth sh--. (Or maybe I'm just a horrible reader)

Why do I own about 7 of her books and constantly look at the "R" section in the used book store? Because of some of her ideas, her themes. A 4 thousand year old hebrew genie talking about how life was in ancient Babylon... I wont find that one T.V

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:44 pm 
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Back to the original post...

I'm a junior in highschool currently, and my highschool teaches about 3/4 classics and 1/4 modern pieces by most people's standards. Personally, I usually prefer reading the classics, and I know that several of my classmates agree. Here is a listing of some of the books that are required from freshman to junior year...

Great Expactations (9th)
The Good Earth (9th)
Hound of the Baskervilles (9th)
The Little Prince (9th)
Old Man and the Sea (10th)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (10th)
Bless Me Ultima (10th)
Animal Farm (10th)
Hero (10th)
The Scarlett Letter (11th)
To Kill a Mockingbird (11th)
Moby Dick (11th)
The Great Gatsby (11th)
Of Mice and Men (11th)

Also, I wouldn't consider The Catcher and the Rye and Fifth Buisnness classics. In my opinion, a classic needs to be around at least 100 years to be considered a "classic". So therefore, I wouldn't consider books such as the Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbrid, Old Man and the Sea, or The Great Gatsby to be classics. I know many people would argue with me on this point, but to be a classic, in my opinion, a book needs to be read over that many generations to know if it's timeless, that it appeals to such a wide variety of different kinds of people. I hope this makes sense.

Another thing I would like to comment on about the literature chosen for highschool students is that they need to be careful when they teach certain books. For example, I do not think a 14 year old is ready for Great Expectations, and I know my sophomore class wasn't ready for Old Man and the Sea. And the result was that they hated both of those books.

One last thing, if our teachers are going to make us read a book, wouldn't it be just as well if we read the whole thing? For instance, in my honors English class sophomore year, we read an abridged version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which totally slaughtered the book. And this year (my junior year which is also an honors class) we've read an abridged version of The Scarlett Letter, and my teacher will be chopping something like 72 chapters out of Moby Dick. I believe that this is an insult to those authors. They wrote those books that way for a reason. If Herman Melville didnt' think that those 72 chapters didn't need to be in there, he wouldn't have written them. And keep in mind that these are honors classes. These classes are suppoesed to be for the more "advanced" students who need to be "challenged" more.

As to which books will be classics, I think that Old Man and the Sea and Lord of the Rings will be. From literature from the the past 10 years, I really don't know. I don't believe that any of the books that have been written recently will deserve the title of being a classic. I don't think that the Harry Potter books will become classics though. They'll be like To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher and the Rye, and Animal Farm--very well written books but not quite classic material.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:33 am 
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Classics become. Classics are original (or better marketed copies of the originals). 'Catcher in the Rye' - it was witten in the 50's (40's?) but it can be easily read today because it touches a universal - was it the prequel to Gen X? And I betcha' Kurt Cohbain had an opinion on it.

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 Post subject: definitely agree.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:16 pm 
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definitely agree. 100%. stupid lackadaisical school system needs to wake up and realize our culture has moved on. im ready for change.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:44 am 
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Hello,

I would just like to make a comment towards the one made about 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'. That was written by James Joyce, and in my opinion he is one of the best writers of the english language, ever. For me to recieve that book as required reading in a class to me would be an honour. I am suprised anyone would be so bold as to call the writing horrible.


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