Friday, January 21, 2011

The Literary Blog Hop, January 20-23

Literary Blog Hop

The Literary Blog Hop is hosted by "The Blue Bookcase".  It's a biweekly hop for blogs focused primarily on literary fiction.  Click above for more information!

Here's our prompt this week...
Discuss a work of literary merit that you hated when you were made to read it in school or university.  Why did you dislike it?
My freshman year of high school I took a course called "Witnessing our World", which was two back-to-back periods of combined English and World History, team-taught by two great teachers.  In retrospect - what a neat idea for a class!  At the time, it was a thorn in my side.  

This was mostly due to these massive projects we had to do - incorporating doing art work in the style of a certain time period, writing a letter from the perspective of a child working in a factory, stuff like that.  I struggled with this.  I've always been the kind of student who prefers to write a research paper, or take a comprehension exam.  There are certain things that bring out the small part of me which is type-A.  This is one of them.  Math?  Same way.  We get assigned 100 algebra problems?  Dream come true.  10 word problems?  Shoot me in the foot.

Anyway - we're not here to discuss my quirky personality.  In this class, we read Tess of the d'Urbervilles and I hated it.  Now, I'll admit to you that I can't remember WHY I hated it, just that I hated it.  This book is actually on my TBR list at the moment.  I think I need to give it another shot.  

My best guess is that I was just too young to be reading this novel.  It was my first experience reading something that wasn't YA without our teacher guiding us every step of the way.  I think I got lost in the language.  I remember breaking down crying and my Mom buying me the Cliff's Notes.  This may or may not have been combined with teenage angst, the fact that freshmen year was a homework shock to me, and that I started dating my future husband, Dennis.  Wading through classic literature was requiring more time and patience than I was willing to dish out.

I made it through, got an A, all that... but I think Tess got the short end of the stick.  

It was a long time ago.  My tastes have matured.  I think Tess and I need to try again.

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