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Mosca
Mosca
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
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August 4th, 2019 at 6:37:56 AM permalink
Quote: Rigondeaux

It might not be suitable for high school. At least not reading the whole thing. I would probably focus on portions of the book and trying to explain why they are good.

If they are bright, which I'm sure your daughter was, they might get the language and begin to perceive the poetry. The guy who wrote the intro to mine argued that it's actually an epic poem.



Yeah, she’s bright. Brighter than me. It was AP American Lit, and when she graduated she got a full scholarship to Notre Dame. So the philosophical/religious stuff was a big part of the assignment. And I agree, that a lot of it isn’t really relevant until you have some life under your skin.

The “different era”, I just referenced that in my last post. You gotta work at some things, and the older it is, the more work it can be.
NO KILL I
lilredrooster
lilredrooster
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Mosca
August 4th, 2019 at 7:10:24 AM permalink
I'll never forget Anton Chekhov's short story "Ward No. 6" or the impact it had on me - Chekhov was a Doctor



it's set in Russia a long time age
a political dissident is sent to a psychiatric hospital which is what they did with dissidents who refused to conform back then

the Doctor who is treating him notices that he is very intelligent and enjoys conversing with him for long amounts of time which is not at all the way patients were handled back then

the staff notices what the Doctor is doing

the staff assesses that because the Doctor keeps talking to this patient that the Doctor himself is insane

the Doctor is then committed as being insane to the same hospital where he was working - and has a bed next to the dissident patient

wow. the message to me was: the world is mad
it's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters........................it's the size of the fight in the dog
Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux
Joined: Aug 18, 2014
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August 4th, 2019 at 7:39:02 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Yeah, she’s bright. Brighter than me. It was AP American Lit, and when she graduated she got a full scholarship to Notre Dame. So the philosophical/religious stuff was a big part of the assignment. And I agree, that a lot of it isn’t really relevant until you have some life under your skin.

The “different era”, I just referenced that in my last post. You gotta work at some things, and the older it is, the more work it can be.



Even in grad school, I still really struggled with older/dryer writing. I could understand what they were saying, but it was like it all had to pass through a filter. Maybe it was like reading in a foreign language that you understand well, but it's still your second language.

At some point, the switch flipped and now I can read something like Moby Dick or Seneca fairly fluidly.

This isn't from reading them for hours and hours, as I'm not really THAT big a reader. During my years at dead end jobs and so forth, I almost never read that kind of stuff. Something just changed.

I don't know if that's normal.
Mosca
Mosca
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August 4th, 2019 at 7:50:48 AM permalink
Quote: lilredrooster

I'll never forget Anton Chekhov's short story "Ward No. 6" or the impact it had on me - Chekhov was a Doctor



it's set in Russia a long time age
a political dissident is sent to a psychiatric hospital which is what they did with dissidents who refused to conform back then

the Doctor who is treating him notices that he is very intelligent and enjoys conversing with him for long amounts of time which is not at all the way patients were handled back then

the staff notices what the Doctor is doing

the staff assesses that because the Doctor keeps talking to this patient that the Doctor himself is insane

the Doctor is then committed as being insane to the same hospital where he was working - and has a bed next to the dissident patient

wow. the message to me was: the world is mad



The one that is indelible for me is Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. The one written in 1953. About a serial killer.
NO KILL I
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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Mosca
August 4th, 2019 at 10:03:04 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

I used to read more fiction,



I avidly avoid fiction now, unless it's
something I've already read. You
become acutely aware of time passing
when you get older and I don't want
to waste it on some crap somebody made
up. And there is a lot of crap out there.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 4th, 2019 at 10:09:22 AM permalink
Quote: lilredrooster



the Doctor is then committed as being insane to the same hospital where he was working - and has a bed next to the dissident patient wow. the message to me was: the world is mad



The world is confused until set straight.
Reminds me of the hospital doc in London
in the middle of the 19th century
who discovered that he had 80% fewer
sick patients if he washed his hands
between surgeries. When he presented
his findings, he was almost driven from
the profession by his fellow hospital
doctors. He was laughed at and called
insane. Within 20 years washing hands
after surgery had become mandatory.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
jmills
jmills
Joined: Sep 16, 2014
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August 4th, 2019 at 11:08:16 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

You'd absolutely love the Flasman series
by George McDonald Fraser. Best historical
fiction ever written. He writes about a
coward/hero in the early days of queen
Victoria's reign. His research is flawless,
you can read his books as actual history.
Just read the first one, I guarantee you'll
be hooked.



The Flashman books are among my favorites. Flashman at the Charge, which has the main character desperately trying to avoid combat and yet participating in the the charge of the Light Brigade, the charge of the Heavy Brigade, and the thin red line, is probably the best.

If you like those, I would strongly recommend the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian. They're not irreverent like the Flashman books, but they are a compelling look at naval warfare during the Napoleonic wars. Great characters, and really funny too. The best thing is that if you like the first one, there are 19 more. Peter Weir's movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is based on the tenth book.

I'm also a huge fan of Stephen King. The Dead Zone is the best one, I think, but they're all worth a read (except The Talisman, which was terrible).

As far as the Great American Novel, my money is on Catch 22.
Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux
Joined: Aug 18, 2014
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Mosca
August 4th, 2019 at 11:10:23 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

The one that is indelible for me is Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. The one written in 1953. About a serial killer.



Her and Borges are my short story Mount Rushmore. It only has two people for whatever reason.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 4th, 2019 at 11:14:43 AM permalink
Quote: jmills



As far as the Great American Novel, my money is on Catch 22.



I haven't read 22 in 30 years, but I
think about the characters all the
time and even quote from it. The
story hits very close to how absurd
much of real life is.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
EvenBob
EvenBob
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August 4th, 2019 at 11:39:45 AM permalink
Quote: jmills



If you like those, I would strongly recommend the Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian.



I checked it out at Amazon, read reviews
and looked inside a coupe. Just ordered
11 of them from Ebay, $20, free shipping.

"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal

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