Courtney M Eckhardt cme at MIT.EDU
Thu May 4 12:04:17 EDT 2000

In message <sBsPOdrWE3sNV=dqp9m5r8KOQisD at>, Melissa Proffitt writes:
>On Mon, 01 May 2000 01:48:27 -0400, Courtney M Eckhardt wrote:
>>Definately, welcome. :)  Always happy to have new people to argue with
>>Melissa. ;)
>Humph. Of course, it's always other people arguing with me. *I* never argue.
>Since I am Always Right, there's no point.  :)  (I'm coming off a long
>stretch of reading nothing but Amelia Peabody mysteries and it's affected my
>brain.  It helped to skip two of the early novels and pick up again once
>Ramses wasn't quite so young and obnoxious.)

I stand humbly corrected. :P

>>Hmm... has anyone ever found that they try rereading something they read
>>as a child and find they're reading it as that 12-year-old (or whatever)
>>again?  I know I missed a lot in some of the books I read as a child or a
>>teenager, but when I go back and read them now I have to make a conscious
>>effort to not regress into that child or teenager and see no more than I
>>saw before.
>This happens to me a lot, but my reaction depends on what book it is.  In
>many cases, I *want* to regress.  I think I've said before that a lot of
>things go into my reading experience...things associated with the first time
>I read the book, smells or sounds or the color of the light, I suppose...and
>sometimes that's what I want to regain.  I think it's like trying to hold on
>to part of my youth.  If I analyzed those books, I'd lose something even as
>I gained that new perspective.  The difficulty for me is in determining
>which is more valuable.

That's a good point- there are definately books for me where part of the
point of rereading them is going to back to where and when I first read

I must beg to differ on the point about analysis causing you to lose
something... and now I will nobly refrain from giving a lecture on
art-vs.-science and why you needed some of your parreciation for something
because you analyzed it. :P

>The books that I try not to read this way are (as Mary Ann said) books I was
>way too young for, and didn't fully understand the first time.  But in those
>cases, it's like my mind isn't in quite so much of a rut--probably because I
>didn't get it and the book didn't make a huge impression on me.  It's a lot
>easier to read those as the adult I've become.

Wow, that's a lot different from me- I know that I read *at least*
Archer's Goon, Howl's Moving Castle, and Fire and Hemlock when I was far
too young for them.  (In fact, if anyone's interested, I can tell a rather
spine-tingling story about the first time I actually made it through all
of Fire and Hemlock.)  (There were also other, non-DWJ books that I read
or tried to read much too young- part of me suspects Ivanhoe suffered
terribly from being read by a naieve 11 or 12-year-old, and the rest of me
suspects that it can't have been that good anyway. :P )

Because these books have so many layers to them, I read things on a very
superficial level and loved them (Archer's Goon and HMC, anyway), and went
on reading and rereading them.  In fact, I read them on such superficial
levels that the endings confused me.  And every time I reread them, I
would try to get more out of them, but it was difficult because my
brain was "stuck in a groove", as it were.  In fact, until I joined this
list, I didn't realize how much I was missing, I was that stuck!  (This
means I owe you all a great Debt of Gratitude. :)  The trouble is that, at
least for me, it takes both *knowing * that I'm stuck viewing something as
the child-that-was *and* a large effort to enable me to get myself out of
that rut.  

Now all I need to do is acquire a copy of Fire and Hemlock (ha! easier
said than done, in this fiction-forskaen land where "My Story" by M.
Lewinsky was a bestseller), and then I can try it again, too.  And maybe
add something to previous discussions on it here.

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