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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment?

 
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 5:53:12 AM   
radic202


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

I think they are doing a big disservice to school kids by forcing them to read all these classics. Kids should read stuff more focused on entertainment so that they'd get hooked up on reading.

Indeed.


Absolutely agree with you my friend!

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Post #: 181
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:23:01 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fodder

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Warspite1

Good book isn't it?


Yeah it is. Not that far into it yet. The war has just begun. Learned a few interesting things already. Like the admiralty did not want to send the Prince of Wales to the far east. They wanted to send the R-class battleships. It was Churchill who insisted on sending POW. Can't figure out why they didn't attach Hermes to force G after Indomitable ran aground. It wasn't doing anything of importance and the two forces passed close enought to wave at one another. Other little tid bits like the Japanese shooting down a British hudson recon plane a full day before the war began or the invasion at Kota Bharu began 70 minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Currently a number of reinforcements are heading toward Singapore. If Phillips only had waited two
days, he would have had a much larger and effective fighting force.

Singapore has just been bombed!!!!

Warspite1

If Phillips had waited then the danger was that POW and Repulse would have been sitting ducks in harbour to Japanese bombers anyway. Besides, the point of Force Z being there was to halt any invasion (or deter the Japanese from even trying!!!). During WWII, the RN consistently and bravely put themselves in harm's way - as Tennant (captain of Repulse) said; "we are going looking for trouble - I expect we'll find it".

Using Hermes - as with the old D-class cruisers that were available - was not an option.
She was too slow to be of any use and would have been more of a liability.

The whole episode was very sad and not exactly our finest hour

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to fodder)
Post #: 182
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 1:47:02 PM   
parusski


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quote:

Warspite1

I have to say I agree with Perturabo on this. When I was a child I hated reading (unless it was about football or looking at my dad's WWII encyclopedias - but even that was for the pictures). As I grew older so I began to read a little more - but it was literally one book a year or something like that. When I had to read Pride and Prejudice and A Tale of Two Cities at school it was like torture.

I now read all the time - in fact the trouble is not enough time, and I have a big stack of books lined up waiting to be read as time is in such short supply. Having got to my age I now feel that I should read at least one Shakespeare and one Dickens before I drop off this mortal coil. But that is because I want to and feel equipped to give them a go; as a teenager? No way.


I have found what matters most in getting kids to read is seeing their parents reading. Of my three children two were pretending to read before they even knew which way to hold the books and thhey read a huge number of books. My third child was read to but never seemed that interested in reading. But in 1998, when he was ten, he and I took an 8 hour(each way) car trip. At the time I was going through Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series. By the time we got home the audio book was still not finished(it was about 30 hours) my son took the remaining cassettes to his room to finish listening. That is what got him started reading. He loved the imagery of listening and creating scenes in his mind. Today he actually reads a more varied book list than the other two.

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 183
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 2:37:42 PM   
Terminus


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From: Denmark
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: fodder

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Warspite1

Good book isn't it?


Yeah it is. Not that far into it yet. The war has just begun. Learned a few interesting things already. Like the admiralty did not want to send the Prince of Wales to the far east. They wanted to send the R-class battleships. It was Churchill who insisted on sending POW. Can't figure out why they didn't attach Hermes to force G after Indomitable ran aground. It wasn't doing anything of importance and the two forces passed close enought to wave at one another. Other little tid bits like the Japanese shooting down a British hudson recon plane a full day before the war began or the invasion at Kota Bharu began 70 minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Currently a number of reinforcements are heading toward Singapore. If Phillips only had waited two
days, he would have had a much larger and effective fighting force.

Singapore has just been bombed!!!!

Warspite1

If Phillips had waited then the danger was that POW and Repulse would have been sitting ducks in harbour to Japanese bombers anyway. Besides, the point of Force Z being there was to halt any invasion (or deter the Japanese from even trying!!!). During WWII, the RN consistently and bravely put themselves in harm's way - as Tennant (captain of Repulse) said; "we are going looking for trouble - I expect we'll find it".

Using Hermes - as with the old D-class cruisers that were available - was not an option.
She was too slow to be of any use and would have been more of a liability.

The whole episode was very sad and not exactly our finest hour


Also, attaching the Hermes would have resulted in MAYBE a little bit of ASW cover. She had no fighters and there were none to give her.

_____________________________

We are all dreams of the Giant Space Butterfly.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 184
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 4:45:45 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 18296
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From: Twin Cities, MN
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

I think they are doing a big disservice to school kids by forcing them to read all these classics. Kids should read stuff more focused on entertainment so that they'd get hooked up on reading.


I disagree. I'm very thankful that my teachers stimulated my thinking by having me read the classics. At the time I wish I could have completed my assignments in class by reading comic books but as I've grown older I've come to appreciate what I was "force fed" as a child.

In most of cases, forcing classics on kids doesn't result in stimulating their thinking but in making them hate reading books.
Also those classics that were written with teenagers in mind can be introduced in high school.
Notice, that since you'd prefer reading comic books, it means that you were already reading for enjoyment, so classics couldn't spoil reading for you. I also started reading from comics. Then I was reading adventure novels, western novels and war books, all before the school started to torture me with its mandatory readings.


Yup. Me too. I started enjoying graphic novel renditions of some classics long before the 'text' versions. "Red Badge of Courage", "Moby Dick", "Crime and Punishment" combined intrigue, violence and suspense aplenty for a new reader. The graphic novel was a great intro. for this genre.

Still hate mandated classics reading. Worst book I ever was made to suffer through was "Madame Bovary" for an expository composition class. What a steaming pile of waste. Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 7/1/2012 4:46:04 PM >


_____________________________


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Post #: 185
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:19:03 PM   
parusski


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Joined: 5/8/2000
From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
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quote:

Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


Which begs the question that if a book is unreadable should it be a classic?

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 186
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:21:35 PM   
warspite1


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From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski

quote:

Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


Which begs the question that if a book is unreadable should it be a classic?
Warspite1

....whih begs the question - who decides? It's like art - who the hell thought Picasso was a great artist?

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 187
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:27:28 PM   
parusski


Posts: 4792
Joined: 5/8/2000
From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski

quote:

Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


Which begs the question that if a book is unreadable should it be a classic?
Warspite1

....whih begs the question - who decides? It's like art - who the hell thought Picasso was a great artist?


Warspite, I think Picasso made that decision. But yes, it's like art.

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 188
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:29:41 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 19725
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski

quote:

Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


Which begs the question that if a book is unreadable should it be a classic?
Warspite1

....whih begs the question - who decides? It's like art - who the hell thought Picasso was a great artist?


Warspite, I think Picasso made that decision. But yes, it's like art.
Warspite1

I'm sure he did. Sadly a lot of others did too (who?), but I wouldn't pay tuppence for his work, much less display any of it in my house.....

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 189
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:31:02 PM   
TulliusDetritus


Posts: 4417
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From: Back to Reality :(
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quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski

quote:

Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


Which begs the question that if a book is unreadable should it be a classic?


Per definition a "classic" cannot be "unreadable". What's a classic in the first place? A book which has survived through centuries (or millenium/s)... Can you trick a generation, x population? Maybe... But many different generations? NO. And this is the ultimate proof you are looking for. Just like the old wine gets better...

Non classics inevitably turn into vinegar though

_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 190
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:34:30 PM   
warspite1


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From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus


quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski

quote:

Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


Which begs the question that if a book is unreadable should it be a classic?


Per definition a "classic" cannot be "unreadable". What's a classic in the first place? A book which has survived through centuries (or millenium/s)... Can you trick a generation, x population? Maybe... But many different generations? NO. And this is the ultimate proof you are looking for. Just like the old wine gets better...

Non classics inevitably turn into vinegar though
Warspite1

So out of curiosity, when did Charles Dickens work first get recognised as "classics"? And the question remains - who decides?

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 191
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:35:38 PM   
sabre1


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I thought "Catcher in the Rye" was a pile of dog poo, but it was required reading in HS.

I took the "F" on that one, and still got an "A" for the class. Just because someone says it's a classic, does not a classic make. There are a host of ideological biases that come into play, and I for one do not choose to fall prey to them. God gave you a brain, use it. If God didn't give you a brain, well you are on your own.

I also started to read Madame Bovary, and came to the same conclusion. I never finished it.

I have studied books I disagree with, that are considered a must read for an educated mind, but only to reinforce my faith and convictions.

Of course Slaakman, makes convincing arguments from time to time. (kidding, just kidding)

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Post #: 192
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:38:26 PM   
shunwick


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Guys,

Everyone's taste is different. Good job too - it makes the world go round.

Best wishes,
Steve

_____________________________

I love the smell of TOAW in the morning...

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Post #: 193
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:41:55 PM   
TulliusDetritus


Posts: 4417
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Back to Reality :(
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
So out of curiosity, when did Charles Dickens work first get recognised as "classics"? And the question remains - who decides?


Maybe when the generation after Dicken's generation realized his books were still alive? Still true in 2012. The books have survived the years, decades and centuries. The readers still see *something*

Maybe you are making the wrong question. Why did many other writers disappear and no one is paying attention to what they wrote (nowadays)? And I am thinking about Dicken's contemporaries? That's the the whole thing, mate

Classics are immortals. Literally. All the many others (overwhelming majority): dust to dust. RIP

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 7/1/2012 6:42:39 PM >


_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 194
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:43:59 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
And the question remains - who decides?


Readers!

_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 195
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:44:23 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

Guys,

Everyone's taste is different. Good job too - it makes the world go round.

Best wishes,
Steve
Warspite1

No one is arguing - just an interesting subject.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to shunwick)
Post #: 196
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:47:56 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 19725
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
So out of curiosity, when did Charles Dickens work first get recognised as "classics"? And the question remains - who decides?


Maybe when the generation after Dicken's generation realized his books were still alive? Still true in 2012. The books have survived the years, decades and centuries. The readers still see *something*

Maybe you are making the wrong question. Why did many other writers disappear and no one is paying attention to what they wrote (nowadays)? And I am thinking about Dicken's contemporaries? That's the the whole thing, mate

Classics are immortals. Literally. All the many others (overwhelming majority): dust to dust. RIP
Warspite1

So take Flaubert's Madame Bovary - never read it myself, but two - presumably educated people here - have given it a huge thumbs down in terms of readability. But it is considered a masterpiece. By who?

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 197
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:49:36 PM   
parusski


Posts: 4792
Joined: 5/8/2000
From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

Guys,

Everyone's taste is different. Good job too - it makes the world go round.

Best wishes,
Steve


Mark Twain makes a point:

"I don't believe any of you have ever read PARADISE LOST, and you don't want to. That's something that you just want to take on trust. It's a classic, just as Professor Winchester says, and it meets his definition of a classic -- something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."
- "The Disappearance of Literature"

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

(in reply to shunwick)
Post #: 198
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 6:59:21 PM   
shunwick


Posts: 1758
Joined: 10/15/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
So out of curiosity, when did Charles Dickens work first get recognised as "classics"? And the question remains - who decides?


Maybe when the generation after Dicken's generation realized his books were still alive? Still true in 2012. The books have survived the years, decades and centuries. The readers still see *something*

Maybe you are making the wrong question. Why did many other writers disappear and no one is paying attention to what they wrote (nowadays)? And I am thinking about Dicken's contemporaries? That's the the whole thing, mate

Classics are immortals. Literally. All the many others (overwhelming majority): dust to dust. RIP
Warspite1

So take Flaubert's Madame Bovary - never read it myself, but two - presumably educated people here - have given it a huge thumbs down in terms of readability. But it is considered a masterpiece. By who?


Mrs Flaubert?

_____________________________

I love the smell of TOAW in the morning...

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 199
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:02:38 PM   
TulliusDetritus


Posts: 4417
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Back to Reality :(
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
So out of curiosity, when did Charles Dickens work first get recognised as "classics"? And the question remains - who decides?


Maybe when the generation after Dicken's generation realized his books were still alive? Still true in 2012. The books have survived the years, decades and centuries. The readers still see *something*

Maybe you are making the wrong question. Why did many other writers disappear and no one is paying attention to what they wrote (nowadays)? And I am thinking about Dicken's contemporaries? That's the the whole thing, mate

Classics are immortals. Literally. All the many others (overwhelming majority): dust to dust. RIP
Warspite1

So take Flaubert's Madame Bovary - never read it myself, but two - presumably educated people here - have given it a huge thumbs down in terms of readability. But it is considered a masterpiece. By who?


LOL

Madame Bovary! Indeed a classic "Unreadable" to me though. But just because I don't give a rat's ar** about the sexual phantasms of a XIX century French bourgeoise from the province!

It still attracts many readers though (I guess females), and that's all I need to know.

_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 200
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:07:42 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 19725
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
So out of curiosity, when did Charles Dickens work first get recognised as "classics"? And the question remains - who decides?


Maybe when the generation after Dicken's generation realized his books were still alive? Still true in 2012. The books have survived the years, decades and centuries. The readers still see *something*

Maybe you are making the wrong question. Why did many other writers disappear and no one is paying attention to what they wrote (nowadays)? And I am thinking about Dicken's contemporaries? That's the the whole thing, mate

Classics are immortals. Literally. All the many others (overwhelming majority): dust to dust. RIP
Warspite1

So take Flaubert's Madame Bovary - never read it myself, but two - presumably educated people here - have given it a huge thumbs down in terms of readability. But it is considered a masterpiece. By who?


LOL

Madame Bovary! Indeed a classic "Unreadable" to me though. But just because I don't give a rat's ar** about the sexual phantasms of a XIX century French bourgeoise from the province!

It still attracts many readers though (I guess females), and that's all I need to know.
Warspite1

TulliusDetritus, thou protesteth too much me thinks and know far too much about the book not to have read (and enjoyed) it.

Right I want the whole of the Matrix forum to know that TulliusDetritus likes Madame Bovary.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 201
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:10:25 PM   
TulliusDetritus


Posts: 4417
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Back to Reality :(
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

Guys,

Everyone's taste is different. Good job too - it makes the world go round.

Best wishes,
Steve


Mark Twain makes a point:

"I don't believe any of you have ever read PARADISE LOST, and you don't want to. That's something that you just want to take on trust. It's a classic, just as Professor Winchester says, and it meets his definition of a classic -- something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."
- "The Disappearance of Literature"


Parusski, the only problem is Twain was er... a satirist. Possibly the best American satirist in American literature In fact, he is a classic. You can be sure of this: his books will still attract readers in 2100... 2300... etc, etc.

_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 202
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:15:37 PM   
TulliusDetritus


Posts: 4417
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Back to Reality :(
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
TulliusDetritus, thou protesteth too much me thinks and know far too much about the book not to have read (and enjoyed) it.

Right I want the whole of the Matrix forum to know that TulliusDetritus likes Madame Bovary.


Sorry to disappoint you, but I managed to escape from this book. I was supposed to read it at school but somehow I narrowly missed death (because, yes, I more or less knew the story therefore I knew -yes or yes- I had to avoid it)...

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 7/1/2012 7:16:23 PM >


_____________________________

"Hang on, is that it...? Are we on the ring...?? Ready???" -- Nürburgring Seven Second Ring King

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 203
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:15:53 PM   
Gary Childress


Posts: 5699
Joined: 7/17/2005
From: United States
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

I think they are doing a big disservice to school kids by forcing them to read all these classics. Kids should read stuff more focused on entertainment so that they'd get hooked up on reading.


I disagree. I'm very thankful that my teachers stimulated my thinking by having me read the classics. At the time I wish I could have completed my assignments in class by reading comic books but as I've grown older I've come to appreciate what I was "force fed" as a child.

In most of cases, forcing classics on kids doesn't result in stimulating their thinking but in making them hate reading books.
Also those classics that were written with teenagers in mind can be introduced in high school.
Notice, that since you'd prefer reading comic books, it means that you were already reading for enjoyment, so classics couldn't spoil reading for you. I also started reading from comics. Then I was reading adventure novels, western novels and war books, all before the school started to torture me with its mandatory readings.


Yup. Me too. I started enjoying graphic novel renditions of some classics long before the 'text' versions. "Red Badge of Courage", "Moby Dick", "Crime and Punishment" combined intrigue, violence and suspense aplenty for a new reader. The graphic novel was a great intro. for this genre.

Still hate mandated classics reading. Worst book I ever was made to suffer through was "Madame Bovary" for an expository composition class. What a steaming pile of waste. Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


I read Madame Bovary a while back on my own initiative. Unfortunately I don't remember much about the book and most of it was probably wasted on me but looking at Wiki:

quote:

Long established as one of the greatest novels ever written, the book has often been described as a "perfect" work of fiction. Henry James writes: "Madame Bovary has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone; it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment."[2]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Bovary

I think it would be sort of neat to take a class on what made Madame Bovary a great work. I'm sure there must be some reasonable explanation that a literary philistine like me might be ignorant of.

I can't speak for literary classics but I can speak for scientific and philosophical classics to some degree. What marks a philosophical classic is in some part due to how influential a philosopher's view was at the time and how much it has influenced our own culture. Few believe in Plato's perfect forms anymore but for centuries Western thought owed a direct debt to Plato and we still do. Plato did do something very unique and important by asking for the first time through Socrates, what is justice, what is piety, what makes a good life. These are important quesitons and the way they were answered has influenced Western culture down to the present.

Also I think part of the rationale behind making kids read certain things is to find out what a child will respond best to. We are required to study a diversity of different sciences and arts so that we can see for ourselves at an early age what we have an interest in. My own pet beef with my education at a young age is that few American public schools seem to introduce children to much in the way of philosophy. Philosophy is a passion of mine and I always wonder, had I been introduced to it sooner (at least in high school) I might be better off today and more fluent in its works, making it easier for me to understand our own time.

I don't really feel anger toward my childhood teachers for making me read things I didn't want to read. I feel more ashamed that at the time I didn't take more interest in those readings. They are important (again I don't know much about literature) in understanding more about who we are and why we think the way we do.

So for instance what makes "Shattered Sword" so important to some World War II enthusiasts? "Shattered Sword" (if I understand correclty, I haven't read the book myself) sort of shatters the myth of Japanese supremacy early in the war by arguing that their ship designs and tactics were not as "great" as authors had formerly attributed to them. This is an important work to World War II enthusiasts because of its influence on their thinking. I suppose if I were a fiction writer or literary type I would be a little more fluent in what makes a piece of literature "important". But I'm not going to rule that literature is bunk because I don't understand it. Usually there are good reasons for things being as they are. I may just not understand those reasons off the bat as it were.

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Post #: 204
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:21:19 PM   
Gary Childress


Posts: 5699
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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus


quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

Guys,

Everyone's taste is different. Good job too - it makes the world go round.

Best wishes,
Steve


Mark Twain makes a point:

"I don't believe any of you have ever read PARADISE LOST, and you don't want to. That's something that you just want to take on trust. It's a classic, just as Professor Winchester says, and it meets his definition of a classic -- something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."
- "The Disappearance of Literature"


Parusski, the only problem is Twain was er... a satirist. Possibly the best American satirist in American literature In fact, he is a classic. You can be sure of this: his books will still attract readers in 2100... 2300... etc, etc.


+1. Well said.

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Panzer Corps
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The Close Combat Series (all versions)

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Post #: 205
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:28:52 PM   
warspite1


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I don't think fact and fiction can be mixed for the purposes of this discussion - bringing in Shattered Sword, great book that it is, does not add anything to advance this subject of what is a classic and who decides.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:45:55 PM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

I don't think fact and fiction can be mixed for the purposes of this discussion - bringing in Shattered Sword, great book that it is, does not add anything to advance this subject of what is a classic and who decides.


I disagree.

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Post #: 207
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 7:47:50 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress
quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
I don't think fact and fiction can be mixed for the purposes of this discussion - bringing in Shattered Sword, great book that it is, does not add anything to advance this subject of what is a classic and who decides.

I disagree.
Warspite1

Fair enough - lets agree to disagree...btw - that is not what Shattered Sword was getting at......

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/1/2012 7:59:32 PM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 8:11:31 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 18296
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress


quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

I think they are doing a big disservice to school kids by forcing them to read all these classics. Kids should read stuff more focused on entertainment so that they'd get hooked up on reading.


I disagree. I'm very thankful that my teachers stimulated my thinking by having me read the classics. At the time I wish I could have completed my assignments in class by reading comic books but as I've grown older I've come to appreciate what I was "force fed" as a child.

In most of cases, forcing classics on kids doesn't result in stimulating their thinking but in making them hate reading books.
Also those classics that were written with teenagers in mind can be introduced in high school.
Notice, that since you'd prefer reading comic books, it means that you were already reading for enjoyment, so classics couldn't spoil reading for you. I also started reading from comics. Then I was reading adventure novels, western novels and war books, all before the school started to torture me with its mandatory readings.


Yup. Me too. I started enjoying graphic novel renditions of some classics long before the 'text' versions. "Red Badge of Courage", "Moby Dick", "Crime and Punishment" combined intrigue, violence and suspense aplenty for a new reader. The graphic novel was a great intro. for this genre.

Still hate mandated classics reading. Worst book I ever was made to suffer through was "Madame Bovary" for an expository composition class. What a steaming pile of waste. Just because a book is classic doesn't make it readable.


I read Madame Bovary a while back on my own initiative. Unfortunately I don't remember much about the book and most of it was probably wasted on me but looking at Wiki:

quote:

Long established as one of the greatest novels ever written, the book has often been described as a "perfect" work of fiction. Henry James writes: "Madame Bovary has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone; it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment."[2]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Bovary

I think it would be sort of neat to take a class on what made Madame Bovary a great work. I'm sure there must be some reasonable explanation that a literary philistine like me might be ignorant of.

I can't speak for literary classics but I can speak for scientific and philosophical classics to some degree. What marks a philosophical classic is in some part due to how influential a philosopher's view was at the time and how much it has influenced our own culture. Few believe in Plato's perfect forms anymore but for centuries Western thought owed a direct debt to Plato and we still do. Plato did do something very unique and important by asking for the first time through Socrates, what is justice, what is piety, what makes a good life. These are important quesitons and the way they were answered has influenced Western culture down to the present.

Also I think part of the rationale behind making kids read certain things is to find out what a child will respond best to. We are required to study a diversity of different sciences and arts so that we can see for ourselves at an early age what we have an interest in. My own pet beef with my education at a young age is that few American public schools seem to introduce children to much in the way of philosophy. Philosophy is a passion of mine and I always wonder, had I been introduced to it sooner (at least in high school) I might be better off today and more fluent in its works, making it easier for me to understand our own time.

I don't really feel anger toward my childhood teachers for making me read things I didn't want to read. I feel more ashamed that at the time I didn't take more interest in those readings. They are important (again I don't know much about literature) in understanding more about who we are and why we think the way we do.

So for instance what makes "Shattered Sword" so important to some World War II enthusiasts? "Shattered Sword" (if I understand correclty, I haven't read the book myself) sort of shatters the myth of Japanese supremacy early in the war by arguing that their ship designs and tactics were not as "great" as authors had formerly attributed to them. This is an important work to World War II enthusiasts because of its influence on their thinking. I suppose if I were a fiction writer or literary type I would be a little more fluent in what makes a piece of literature "important". But I'm not going to rule that literature is bunk because I don't understand it. Usually there are good reasons for things being as they are. I may just not understand those reasons off the bat as it were.


LOL! So Wikipedia will be the arbiter of classic literature, will it?

Sure, there are novels and other literature that is impenetrable to my perspective, that I just 'don't get'. If I want to be lost in old books that I don't understand, I can read up on initial works by Pythagoras, Euclideas or some of Einstein's scientific publications. I won't claim they're bunk because I can't understand them or find them interesting, I promise.

"Classic" literature is supposed to be different. Not necessarily written for the masses, but it should elicit thought, enjoyment and appreciation for the medium amongst many, if not most, of its readers. Not a popularity contest mind you, but a classic cannot be a classic if very few think it a useful or worthwhile read.

I won't argue that the philosophers you cited are classical philosophers and worthwhile for most people to have at least a passing familiarity with their works. I cannot say the same for Flaubert's POS fictional novel. It "ate" about two weeks of my life, I sure as **** am not going to take a class explaining why I 'should' like it, if only I were more intellectually sophisticated.

What is a 'classic' and a 'must-read' is not exclusively personal choice, but it is mostly personal opinion, IMO.


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Post #: 209
RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 7/1/2012 8:36:57 PM   
JW

 

Posts: 1037
Joined: 8/12/2000
From: Monroe, LA, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: JW

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. At 58 I finally think I am old enough to appreciate it. A wonderful book. I'm 36% through it.


Yes, you are old enough. I did not appreciate it till I re-read it recently.

By the way, what mathematical formula did you use to arrive at that 36% figure(unless you're reading on an eReader)???


My Kindle tell me the percentage complete.

(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 210
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