Literary Blog Hop: Required Reading

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

The Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. This week's question comes from Ingrid:

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?

To be honest, I really enjoyed most things I read for school. Especially when I was younger, I would read almost anything in print (I learned how babies were made because I was reading my mom's parenting magazine) and so I usually didn't have a problem with my school assignments. However, I do remember really hating The Crucible by Arthur Miller when I read it in 11th grade English. Looking back on it now, I'm not sure why I didn't get along with it. I think generally, I just found it to be depressing. Also, I'm not a huge fan of reading plays (although I will always make an exception for Mr. Shakespeare). I looked up some quotes online, trying to find what bothered me so much about The Crucible, but I liked the quotes I found, so maybe the overall feeling of the story was just a little dark for me.

I also have never been a huge fan of
The Odyssey. I never hated it - I think the story is really interesting. However, I have never enjoyed muddling through Homer's prose. I don't know if I didn't have a good translation or if I'm just lazy. Also, I had to read The Odyssey for multiple classes, so by the 2nd and 3rd times I was so sick of it.

How about you? Any literary works you loathed in school? Do you think being required to read a book makes you more likely to dislike it?

PS: Does anyone else have trouble with the fonts on blogger? If I change the font, I can never get it to go back to normal!

14 comments:

  1. I hope you'll try The Odyssey again with a different translation. I've been looking at Fagles and Lombardo as I start planning my February reads, and both look really fantastic. But if you've already had to read it a couple of times, perhaps you should wait a while!

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  2. I liked most of what we read in school, too, but I wasn't wild about The Crucible ... my kids didn't like it much either.

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  3. We performed The Crucible in high school...might have been 11th grade. I got to play one of the hysterical girls who claims to be cursed. That was fun.

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  4. I absolutely loved the Odyssey! Even after being forced to read it three times in three different classes. The Crucible was alright; I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I'm not the biggest fan of reading plays either. Every once in a while I'll read an outstanding one though (I really enjoyed the Glass Menagerie).

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  5. I didn't read The Crucible until I was in my late 20s and I absolutely loved it. I've never been able to drum up interest for The Odyssey. :(

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  6. Multiple readings in a short space of time, will kill all but the greatest obsession. I've had no problems with Blogger, but I publish to blogger using windows live writer, don't know if that helps, but it works for me.

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  7. I, too, recommend Fagles for The Odyssey.

    I disliked having to read Faulkner: all that wordy, brooding Mississippi angst. But now that I've tried him as a grown-up, I get it. He's still not my favorite, but at least I can see why he's part of the canon.

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  8. I didn't enjoy The Crucible the first time I read it, but I did like it the second time (I was also more interested in the history of the period at that point, which helped). I enjoy The Odyssey very much - compared to The Illiad (yuck), it's like a five-star action movie. haha

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  9. I'm like you, I enjoy the story of The Odyssey, but I find reading it a bit tedious. Saying that, I'v only read extracts.
    Em

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  10. My read was STONEHENGE DECODED...uggh. Did anyone else have to suffer through it?

    Stop by my blog if you like...I also have a giveaway that isn't very literary, but check it out.

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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  11. I remember liking The Crucible, but I was NOT a fan of the Odyssey!

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  12. I really loved The Crucible the first time I read it, and it's still one of my favorite plays, but I do have very strong, very negative feelings about the Odyessy, not helped by the fact that the professor teaching it was a complete buffoon.

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  13. @LifetimeReader - I've been thinking that I should try it again at some point. The Odyssey is one of those books that everyone has to read at some point, and I love mythology.

    @JoAnn - Good to know I'm not the only one!

    @Robyn - I think I definitely would have enjoyed it more if I was a hysterical girl pretending to be cursed. Haha.

    @booksntea - I will have to look into the Glass Menagerie - I have never heard of it before.

    @Melody - When I was looking at some quotes of The Crucible to refresh my memory on it for this post, I thought that it didn't seem as bad as I remembered. Maybe I would like it better now.

    @parrishlantern - Hmm I've never used live writer. Might have to look into it. And I agree with the multiple rereadings. I loved the Giver the first time I read it on my own, and then I had to read it for two classes. I never hated it, but the love definitely faded.

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  14. @J.G. Good to know about that translation. I am definitely going to look into it someday. I've never read Faulkner but I heard that Absalom, Absalom was life-changing.

    @Adam - We read the Iliad and the Odyssey together, and it may have been the negative feelings about the Iliad carrying over! And I have been thinking about rereading the Crucible, because the quotes I was reading to refresh my memory make it sound really good. I might have just been a disgruntled highschooler when I first read it!

    @emeire - Yes, that is my experience exactly.

    @Elizabeth - Hmm, I've never heard of that one, but now I know to avoid it!

    @Amanda - There are so many mixed feelings about both books! I guess that is what happens when so many people have to read them for school.

    @lettersforno1: Yes, a bad teacher can ruin the best of books.

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