Monday, May 4, 2009

When I'm 35

In 15 years I will be almost 35—that is a truly scary thought. My life plan isn’t too clear post college or grad school, but hopefully then I’ll have a family, secure job, and time to read. English classes in high school kind of turned me off to “literature,” and I have to admit I don’t read as much as I used to. One thing this class has definitely done for me is spark my desire to read again, and not just trashy teen novels. (Though I will never give those up either J)

Reading Lolita and seeing how an author’s mastery of language could turn something so horrible into something beautiful is going to stick with me for a long time. Normally, our feelings are pretty simple cause and effects. Something bad happens, you get sad. Something good happens, you get happy. The fact that Nabokov was able to make the reader go against their natural feelings is truly amazing, and what I want to experience again in the near future.

Also, when we first started this class I was pretty puzzled as to why we were only reading two books, yet watching two movies and one DVD series. I thought, this must be a joke! But now I can see why. From “The Pornographic Imagination” to N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton,” I can definitely see the importance in studying (or just reading for fun) things that normally might not be considered “literature.” I’ve learned that even if a piece of work doesn’t have high class vocabulary with flowery sentences, it can still be considered literature. In fact, it might be considered better because it is more authentic—we saw how the crude language in The Wire added to its realism, since it more accurately told the story of the people.

Lastly, the idea that you have to reread a book to get the full experience will stay with me. Whether we were close-reading a scene from Blue Velvet or Lolita, I definitely got more out of it the second time through. I doubt in 15 years I’ll have the time to reread books every time, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

In any case, I’m excited to start reading for pleasure again, though I probably won’t start until after school is out. Good luck with finals everyone!

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