Monday, 8 September 2014

School Discoveries

This week's Booking Through Thursday is:

We all had to read lots of different things in school—some of which we liked, some of which we didn’t. Are there any authors that you’ve grown to love because you were introduced to them in your English Lit class? Or—the contrary. Are there any you hate because you were forced to read them? Did you ever go back to try them again?

Honestly? No, I don't think any of the set texts during school or university made me fall in love with the authors and seek out more of their work. In a way it was the opposite - I was really put off Susan Hill because we had to read I'm the King of the Castle, which not only was very depressing but also was read aloud by class members in excruciatingly small doses, when I'd already taken the book home and finished it after the first week. I read The Woman in Black years later and actually rather enjoyed it (even though the recent film terrified me, and its deviation from the plot annoyed me too), and have The Risk of Darkness on my shelves for later.

A similar thing happened with Margaret Attwood. We had to read Surfacing at college, which I found bizarre and boring in equal measure. I read The Blind Assassin a couple of years ago, though, and loved it - I felt connected to the characters, they felt like human beings I might want to know, and it was very cleverly written. Several of her others sound very interesting, and I'd especially like to read The Handmaid's Tale when I can get hold of a copy.

I've already mentioned my dislike of Virginia Woolf in another post, and even when we were lucky enough to be given set texts I enjoyed, I can't help feeling that in the majority of cases having to dissect them clinically and write essays or exams on them ruins your love for a book.

No comments: