Doing the reading (was: Best Books 2002)

hallieod at hallieod at
Sun Jan 12 12:19:21 EST 2003

Ania (replying to Denise):

>The reading lists (quoted below) ARE large, yes, but if you are interested
>enough in literature to take the class, surely you will have already read at
>least half of these titles, being as many are literary classics? Then again,
>one is reminded of the definition of the classic- a book everyone thinks
>s/he ought to have read, but has not.
>>  For example, here are the reading loads for two common classes:
>>  California Lit: Acosta, O.: The Revolt of the Cockroach People; Bulosan,
>>  C.: America Is in the Heart; Chan, S.C. and S. Olin: Major Problems in
>>  California History; Davis, M.: City of Quartz; de Burton, R.: The Squatter
>>  and the Don; Kerouac, J.: On the Road; Kingston, M. H.: China Men;
>>  McWilliams, C.: California, The Great Exception; Norris, F.: The Octopus;
>>  Ruiz, R.: Happy Birthday, Jesus; Steinbeck, J.: Grapes of Wrath; West, N.:
>>  The Day of the Locust; a course reader containing additional primary and
>>  secondary materials
>>  Studying The Novel: Anon.: Lazarillo de Tormes; Beckett, S.: Company;
>>  Defoe, D.: Robinson Crusoe; Dostoevsky, F.: Demons; Edgeworth, M.: Castle
>>  Rackrent; Flaubert, G.:Madame Bovary; Goethe, J.: The Sorrows of Young
>>  Werther; Joyce, J.: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Kundera, M.:
>>  The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Nabokov, V.: Pale Fire; Petronius: the
>>  Satyricon; Sterne, L.: Tristram Shandy; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway.

Maybe lots of people will have, but it's hardly a "surely" 
assumption.  I'm interested enough etc. as I'm studying lit, and have 
still only read two from each course -for the California Lit course 
both were *many* years ago, and for Studying the Novel, Madame Bovary 
only because it was on our 19th Century Novel course, and Portrait of 
the Artist was again years ago.  And even having read a book for 
pleasure probably wouldn't mean you wouldn't need to read it again 
for course work.

>  >
>>  With undergrads required to carry four courses of that depth (16 units)
>>  it's no surprise that the new student orientation speech says outright
>>  "you can do three things in college -- sleep, study, or socialize -- but
>  > you'll only have time for two of them here."

Idiocy!  (IMHO).   You can *study* without sleeping or without 
socializing, but both are pretty important parts of learning.


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