Monday, October 30, 2006

Overlooked Fiction

Besides a great post entitled "Overlooked Fiction", Slate Magazine (scroll down to the end of the post) offers

Prominent writers (like Scott Turow, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Connolly) confess their favorite beach reads here
Books prominent critics haven't read here
Roundup of the books that famous people loved in college here
Famous books that prominent critics haven't read here

This last is the best, though. The article is called "The Literary Critic's Shelf of Shame." Here's a quote that should give high schoolers a lift:

The most distressing revelation is that many of the authors deemed most impenetrable—Dickens, Hawthorne, the Bront√ęs, Melville—are mainstays on high-school and college freshman reading lists. Students will either take heart or sigh in frustration. On the one hand, it's comforting to know that the pros couldn't slog through these books either. But on the other: If the experts couldn't get through them, how are you supposed to?
Critics haven't read Ulysses, The Scarlet Letter, Anna Karenina, War and Peace. A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Colin Romano admits to having recently read Crime and Punishment.

I recently TAUGHT Crime and Punishment to my Books & Brunch classes at a local community college. Most of them loved? liked it very much. Mr. Romano is right the crime does come first and then there are another 500 pages about guilt, repentence and redemption. Sound good?

Enjoy! Oh, and Happy Halloween!
the teach :)

1 comment:

Enemy of the Republic said...

I go through phases of knowing contemporary literature and then avoiding it. It isn't snobbery; I am just so deep into the classics for work and I am a medievalist. However, I think Ulysses by Joyce is overrated, but Dubliners is brilliant. Joyce Carol Oates is a hit or miss: Them was a great novel and some of her short stories are fantastic. I don't think she normally has the patience for the novel form, but I still haven't read the one that sold so well: I own it, but I've never been able to get into it--the Oprah pick. And Doestovesky kicks ass and so does Tolstoy. I love those Russians!