Classic Rage

Well.

So, kids don’t like classic books.

Shocker!

teen-hates-reading

These tweets actually launched me into flashback giggle-mania:

@GTRomines:

F You.
huckleberry-finn
.

@Aye_Villy:

The Sun Also Rises should be renamed “Why the suicide rate of teens in America is so high”

#worstbookever#help

the-sun-also-rises-ernest-hemingway

.

@ColorMeeSamm:

dear tale of two cities, please go die in a damn hole.

love always, sam (:

#soconfused #worstbookever

tale_of_two_cities_book

.

I wanted to be outraged by this, but ended up giggling like Elmo!

elmo

.

Did you like reading classics as a kid?

.

Sylver Lining Sunday

sylverblaque-sylver-lining-sunday

27 thoughts on “Classic Rage

  1. Sylver, thank you for stopping by my blog and liking it. You pose an excellent question: “What is normal“ I enjoyed many of the classics, but not all. I make a point of blending what students like with the classics and let them choose. In the mix, I try to consider what might be the contemporary classics i.e. The Cay, Touching Spirit Bear, and A Single Shard. I am fortunate to be a teacher who has many students who read. It is encouraged in their homes. It makes my work much easier.

    Take care,

    Ivon

    • You’re welcome, Ivon. What you wrote about creativity & quiet moments resonated with me. So many times, I try to turn over & go back to sleep, but words yank me right out of bed to my keyboard & there’s just no going back!

      It’s really good to hear about a teacher providing a choice of classics, and incorporating contemporary classics into the mix. And isn’t it like a gift from the gods, to have students who are encouraged at home to read rather than kill things in video? 😉

  2. I agree with Yousei. As long as kids are reading at the appropriate level I’m happy. I’m grateful for the simple classics – Old Man and the Sea & Little Red Pony that my English teacher assigned to me. It gave me a greater appreciation for the more difficult writers that I would grow to love…and one day comprehend. I enjoy rereading these complex stories as more about the characters and the author is revealed as I learn more about the time and place that the story was written.

    • Absolutely! Assigned classics pave the way, as you said, for a much greater appreciation for more mature reading throughout life. But I wonder, with the upcoming generations, if it will be the same for them? It seems to me that books, like movies now, have taken a new turn away from deeply layered character-driven fare in favor of more action and shock value. I don’t know…I find myself reaching back for the classics – both books & movies – more & more often, for more fulfilling entertainment…

      • I have already seen a book-by-tweets. And I prefer movies that are black and white with original ideas and character development – or maybe there were just better life values back then. So many films today are based on bad ethics as is everything on TV. Though I do have to hope for humanity’s sake that as much bad comes of this – poor language skills and bad memory, that just as much good will come as with all things that evolve.

        • Here’s to evolution with emphasis on the positive! 😉 I really hope it turns out this way, because “bad ethics” does seem to dominate most forms of entertainment, now, to the point that – at least in the minds of youths – it is the norm. Scary!

  3. Jude the Obscure is the worst book I EVER read. My professor thought my angst was a hoot. She said I should write Jude, the Good Years. I also get peeved at suicide books like The Awakening and Anna Karenina. It’s like the authors get the story all worked up and then can’t figure out an ending, so they just kill off the main character.
    Last year I read mostly classics, to catch up on those no one ever assigned to me and I really enjoyed it. Too much. Now, I keep downloading current best sellers and taking weeks to read them, when I used to read a book in a matter of days. It’s rare for me to find a character I love and if there’s no love, there’s no urgency to read about them. I’m waiting for the pendulum to swing back to character driven stories, rather than these exciting “so what” plots. But then that’s me.

    • And me! I’m so glad to hear someone verbalize what I’ve had a suspicion about for so long – that character-driven novels are disappearing at the speed of light. I so agree that it’s just plain hard to get into a story if I can’t get into the character. I have to love the character(s) before I can love the story. And this is probably why I have tons of unfinished books that I don’t care if I never finish because, well, I just don’t care enough about the characters. But I have tons more well-loved classics which I re-read repeatedly rather than slough through the goings-on of un-fleshed-out characters!

      • I’ve been one of those people who felt guilty when I didn’t finish a book. It’s like I had a contract with the author. They did their part by getting my attention, now my part is to finish the book. Problem is, there used to be a pay off. Books started slow and gave you the back story, but if you could get past the first third of the book, then the characters were your friends forever. Now I get to the end of the book and I’m mad. No matter what the characters have been through, they are the same people they were on page one and I didn’t like them much then either. I think I’ll start a new category on my Kindle – “books that don’t deserve being finished.” Maybe then I can move on.

        • I laughed & nodded all the way through this! 😆 Every single word hit home. Especially regarding the “pay-off,” which I don’t experience much anymore. And, like you, I get so frustrated & angry that I wasted my time, hoping it would get better if I just hang in there…maddening! But, think about it, kids hating classics, growing up into a new book market dominated by “How to Grab Your Reader in the first Sentence!” rather than “How to Build a Story with Depth”…I mean, those kids are growing up in a time where the first sentence (the BANG!) is more important than the building of layered content throughout. This is evident everywhere – books, TV, movies, music. It’s a whole new wow-me-quick-or-I’m-outta-here world.

          • Amen – not having kids that’s not the first thing that comes to mind, but you’re absolutely right. The industry is fulfilling their thrill-seeking, instant gratification tendency and Great Expectations doesn’t have much of a chance. (I got in big trouble for completing Great Expectations ahead of my junior high class, but I couldn’t stand the suspense!)

            • Lol. 🙂 I have younger sisters & brothers, nieces, nephews & cousins in 8 diff countries, all coming up in this new generation of make-my-eyes-pop-or-lose-me. Poor Great Expectations. 😦 It’s beautifully crafted suspense is going to be lost on this new breed of kid…

  4. Good observations. There were a few books that I read in High School that I didn’t like. After retreading some of them today I have a much better appreciation for them. I have also re-read many Junior classics and they have much more meaning now as well.

    • I really love when that happens – when I see a classic & think, well, I read that in high school & hated it…so let me read it now & see what happens. Nine times out of ten, I end up wondering, how did I ever not love this book?! Lol.

  5. I loved them and still do. Perhaps if we re-wrote Dickens and Twain and Hemingway in today’s short hand lingo, the kids would understand them better … all those big long words with lots of letters. And I don’t remember these authors employing “Yo, Dude, Awesome” which cconstitute 90% of the vocabulary that today’s youngster seem to have acquired.

  6. Truthfully, some of them…but not these. Here’s another question–where these written for kids? Might explain their distaste. I know I tried “A Connecticut Yankee In King Author’s Court” one year and couldn’t make it past the first chapter. I tried it the next year, and found it a favorite, which it has remained. Timing, maturity, interest, taste…even each classic doesn’t suit everyone. I’m of the opinion that if a kid reads and enjoys anything, I’m happy…so many don’t.

    • Agreed! You make a good point here, about the way in which taste matures & evolves. I, too, cringed at some books which later became all-time faves. And yeah, kids reading & enjoying anything is a GOOD thing. 🙂 Thank you for this enlightening comment!

What are your thoughts? Leave a Reply...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s