Saturday, April 3, 2010

Classic Literature Vs Pop Fiction

Okay; I've had several days to think on this topic, as well as reading others' opinions.

How many of us struggled to stay awake in Lit class, reading such dry excerpts of Thomas Hardy, Edgar Allen Poe (NOT his poem The Raven), and books like Silas Marner, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Crucible? When I was in college, the Greek plays were interesting enough, as was Chaucer, but who could stay awake during The Odyssey and the works of Socrates?

My roommates soon learned to leave the room if I pulled out the last three, because they knew they'd be subjected to hearing whatever book out loud; it was the only way I could retain any semblance of the storyline.

I did enjoy Silas Marner and TKAM, and even A Separate Peace and The Crucible; however, I could not simply stop with one chapter a week. No, if the story caught my attention, I kept reading. And then was bored by the papers, discussion, etc. I didn't want to dissect the book, looking for symbolism, themes, etc. I simply wanted to enjoy the story.

Contrast this with books I DO enjoy: Sometimes a particular theme will jump out at me, or I'll recognize the history behind it. I do like to discuss the characters and plot devices, but again, they are strictly for enjoyment.

Remember the Star Trek TNG episode where the planet had found a copy of Casino Royale and accepted it as 'God's Truth'? In order to make their First Contact any sort of sense, Commander Riker and crew had to go along with the plot.

God forbid anyone 2000 years from now finding Teacher's Pet and thinking this is how all society is supposed to act!


Mia Watts said...

So I did my literary and fiction genre rant last week, but the truth is more complicated than that, isn't it? I adore Silas Marner. CRAZY adore. Something about the way he was treated and how he learned to value the little girl over the stash of coins. Breaks. My. Heart. every time. Also, Emma, To Kill A Mockingbird (read that at least three times by choice), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (which I read twice and it made me enraged while also extremely sad), 1984 which is just messed up but nifty, and a few others.

Heart of Darkness sucks. So does Catcher in the Rye. Sorry.

Kenzie Michaels said...

I also enjoyed Lord of the Flies; never read Catcher or Scarlet Letter. I do want to see the movie, though...

I just can't get into Bronte or Eyre. I read one several years ago (can't remember what it was; Winona Ryder played the main character in the movie version...never saw it) and it nearly put me to sleep, Have never read Wuthering Heights either.

Silas Marner was another story I 'expanded' on after I read it...I always want to know 'What happened next':)

Glad you stopped by Mia:) And here I thought I've been talking to myself...

Mia Watts said...

Nope! :)

I don't get to blogs very often, but when I do, I always check yours.

Kenzie Michaels said...

Awww...thank you:)