Thursday, June 3, 2010

A classic reading the classics

Are the "classics" still required reading in High School English class?

I was an ok student, disliking any subject that included a mathematical equation and loving any subject that allowed me to feed my reading fetish. I devoured the required reading list of Catcher In The Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, 1984, The Grapes of Wrath... the list is endless. And since I've always loved to write, the inevitable book report was usually a piece of cake.

Flash forward 40 years.

I happened onto a Reader's Digest article about To Kill A Mockingbird and what the book was really about. It got me to thinking. I've read all of these books, but I don't remember much about them. So I picked up a copy of Mockingbird for my reading pleasure. I was amazed to discover that other than snipets here and there, I didn't remember the story. It wasn't until the trial towards the end of the book that things started coming back to me.

I can see many more reruns of the classics in my near future.

Do you remember what you read 40 years ago?

13 comments:

That corgi :) said...

yes and no (with remembering what I read 40 years ago). I loved a Tree Grows in Brooklyn and read it more than a dozen times (same with To Kill a Mockingbird) but I'm thinking a lot of the books I read back then, if I read them now they would be like a new book I had picked up for the first time

can we be that old?

betty

Snappy Di said...

Only one book from years and years ago made an impact on me and I don't think it is a classic. Captains and the Kings. It sure wasn't on the reading list in High School anyway.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Leah said...

I sound like you. I LOVE reading, but if there were numbers involved, I was usually poor at it. I have reread many of the classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. . . and love them even more now than I did then! But I should pick up to Kill a Mockingbird again. I don't remember ANYTHING hardly about that book, except that when I read it for the first time, I was in love.

Toriz said...

Well, I can honestly say that I wasn't reading anything 40 years ago. However, I have read a lot of books in my life. I enjoyed most subjects at school (it was school itself I didn't like... But that's another story). My favourites were English, drama, and maths though. To the point where the maths teacher (who was one of my support/classroom assistants) sometimes gave me extra homework when I complained I had none for the weekend, and Carl (a year older than me) paid me to do his homework for him. I spent most of my childhood buried in books, and loved every second of it.

Vicki Lane said...

I remember the ones I loved -- because I've reread them again and again. Pride and Prejudice is one such. Though I read MOCKINGBIRD and enjoyed it, I never rereasd it because it was sad.

Intense Guy said...

Oh what a beautiful eye-opening header!! Love it!!

40 years ago I was reading the Hardy Boys mystery series. I re-read them all a year or so ago and enjoyed them again. So not "totally" remembering them actually made for double the pleasure.

As for more..."classic" books, I remember reading "A Canticle for Leibowitz" (Walter Miller), "A Stranger in a Strange Land" (Robert Heinlein), "A Clockwork Orange", Shakespeare (which I hated and still do!), Chaucer (which was slightly better than William's stuff, IMHO), Beowulf, Jane Eyre, the "Lord of the Rings" (can we argue that is a classic now?) and Issac Asimov's "Foundation" and "I, Robot" series. Reading Asimov's stuff a second time was tedious.

Oh! and Hemingway's, "Old Man and the Sea" (which I love).

I remember much of them, I was semi-impressionable.

You might enjoy "The Color Purple" given your list.

*Hugs* - what a fascinating post!

Funny in My Mind said...

We had to read Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and the Iliad in high school. I kind of remember parts but now that my son is reading them, it came back to me.
40 years ago, I was born.
Ha!

Rita said...

Love books! Love movies, too. I just re-watched "To Kill A Mockingbird" about a year ago and there's a LOT to that story. I don't remember so well, either, after it's been a few years--whether it's a book or a movie--hehe! Been 42 years since I graduated and until I went to college 11 years ago I hadn't been reading any classics since high school. I do wonder what they teach these days in school. We had a LOT of poetry, I remember. I loved English class! Loved school. Great post!! :)

Lynn said...

I couldn't read 40 years ago lol I can't even remember what the last or first classic I read my most favorite books when I was really young was the Little House On the Prairie ones absolutely loved them!

Lynn said...

Oh yes and I'm with Iggy love the new header you have I was practically drooling over the beautiful color and flowers. I wish I knew how to spice up my blog lol

Jingle said...

I read lots of books, 40 years ago, I was one year old...
glad that you find reading plesant for particular reasons...
Happy Friday!

AliceKay said...

I disliked English and Literature classes (i loved math and algebra tho) but I remember reading Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth (not 40 years ago tho as i'm just slightly younger than you) :)

For fun, I used to read all sorts of paperback books that I bought thru the Scholastic Book Club at school. Not "classics" or anything heavy. I preferred to be outside playing ball, climbing trees, and riding skateboards and bikes all over the place when I was a teen. Skateboards back then used to be skinny boards with little tiny wheels.

junyah said...

i sure can . it was my elistment contract with the US Navy.. lol ok give or take a few years but right in the era. I was late 18 years old, i had signed up for the draft and was woundering where i was going when a bunch of guys i hung around with said lets all join the Resevers and off to Bangor maine we went. But other than that i wasnt a reader.But i wanted to say hi , lol HUgs U JR