Re: The strange case of...
Posted by: poetscientistdrinker
Date: October 24, 2002 07:02PM
<HTML>Absolutely right Bea. 'Lord of the Flies' is even worse if you have to stop every five lines to 'investigate' (British education speak for 'copy what you're told for regurgitation during the exam') yet another metaphor. In fact, it was so bad that I never actually finished it before my GCSE exam that tested my knowledge of the bloody thing.
As for my own spectacular gaps in my reading (In my defence I'm a scientist, although I try to alternate a popular science book with something fictional - and typically read a book every three days or so) I blame GCSE English for destroying any motivation to study literature at any higher level. I like to read the stuff that's a little bit less cliched, so Dickens is out as it's on TV all the bloody time and everybody claims to have read it when at least half have only seen a dodgy adaptation. I have read stuff like 'Tom Jones' (and no, not because I thought it was a biography of a Welsh singer...), 'Moby Dick', Mallory's 'Morte d'Athur' (and no, I'm not a hippy, I just wanted a challenge and ended up speaking 14th Century english all the bloody time).
I've read Beowolf, but only the Heaney translation (I might get round to the original, although I'm not sure I want all the pain of learning a new language. Poetry-wise I love Roger McGough, and think that Shakespeare's sonnets are worth a hell of a lot more than the few cliched ones that are normally thrust upon us. I can't stand Tennyson - GCSE english strikes again. Gerard Manley Hopkins should have been burnt at the stake on a pile of his scribblings, as far as I can care.
I have read a fair amount, and I've been exposed to enough literature to know what is having fun poked at when Mr Fforde writes. I agree that he doesn't emulate writing styles, and with 'The Trial' it's more that Mr Fforde condenses the beaurocratic process that is never really explained in 'The Trial' into one incredibly funny court scence. btw I got the 'Trial' from this big building full of books that I lurched into after an all night drinking session. They call it a library.
Does anybody else read some books and find themselves saying 'Well, I enjoyed that, but I won't read it again.' ? Some books I love and immediately restart, others I close and leave alone forever more. Strange. Especially seeing as it's not always the books I really enjoy that I re-read.</HTML>