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Thread: My Little Literature Life

  1. #1
    madz
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    My Little Literature Life

    okay so its now become obvious that people don't always comment on literature, so im just gonna start a blog of the literature in my life and see if anyone reads it or comments on it. However, I can't work out HOW to make a blog so thread it is! If you wanna ask questions, do so! I will answer almost anything (provided it's not nasty, disgusting or silly). So here goes...
    so, I am a 17 year old (18 in september 2011) and I love literature! I love to read. So I started reading as a child, but I only read adventure books. I wasn't really into the whole literature stuff. And then, as I was entering my college years, I realised that it said a lot about what I had been through in the past two years. You see, you cut it short, I fell madly in love with a boy and he broke my heart. If you want anymore on this story, just ask and I may fill you in
    So I was heart broken and perhaps a way of forgetting it was by getting stuck into a brilliant, yet challenging book. I started with Tess of the D'urbevilles as I was nearing the end of Year 11. Thus, I fell in love with Hardy. I then read the Road as a favourite English teacher of mine wouldn't stop talking about it. Perhaps that was a bad reason - I found it mediocre next to Tess. Dreary, depressing, boring. It took me a long time to read.
    So then that summer between Year 11 and the first year of college, the summer of freedom - no work to do, friends, holidays and funfunfun! Or not. For me, it was the exact opposite. You see, Within two weeks of my nine week holiday, I had abdominal surgery and I was in hospital for 4-5 days. My Parents were there for me every step of the way, and so were my good friends Hannah and Molly (Hannah and I have considered each other 'sisters' since we met when we were 7).
    I couldn't walk properly for four weeks. At the fifth week, I was beginning to stand up straight again, but I couldn't walk for 20 minutes without wanting to collapse. For the first three weeks I slept twice a day. At around 3pm, I grew so exhausted as if i'd been awake for 24 hours.
    So this didn't help my mental situation, with the heartbreak and all...
    But it developed my mind so much and moved me towards literature so much that I will never give it up!
    I am now studying English Pre-U in my 6th form college. The Pre-U is a 2 year literature course which was created by Cambridge University and is above the normal literature exam. After 2 years, we take a huge exam... well anyways, what I would like to al about on this blog is how the books i has got me to read have influenced, changed, disgusted me and/or made an impact.
    But I need to write an essay about Interesting Villains (focusing on Richard III) right now. So I will start another time x

  2. #2
    Great that you've found something you're passionate about! By the way, you can start blogs once you have 50 posts here (I think), it might be more convenient to wait and get 50 posts first.

  3. #3
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    An introductory post which highlights some interesting things about someone who at only 17 has already experienced quite a lot. I'm sure that good writing has been a great help in overcoming your problems and, although I haven't read it,Tess is obviously a good novel to start with: as evidenced by the admiration in which many people on this forum have for it. I'm not surprised that you didn't like The Road after reading Hardy but other people's recommendations are not always to be relied on. If you remain as a forum member, you will, however, find it useful in getting some idea which books are most suited to your requirements as a student, even though they may only supplement those you have to read as a part of your course.
    Incidentally, your description of The Road is exactly how it has come across to me on reading other member's views of the novel, although I expect you will be given similar books to read throughout your course as it's part of the latest buzzword 'postmodernism' that is much loved by academics.
    Good luck on the forum.
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  4. #4
    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Good for you. Your resilience and strength is admired and you will really enjoy this forum.

    Most of us do not give a back story here, so it's good to hear about someone.

    Welcome!

  5. #5
    Postmodern Geek. TheChilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exodus238 View Post
    okay so its now become obvious that people don't always comment on literature, so im just gonna start a blog of the literature in my life and see if anyone reads it or comments on it. However, I can't work out HOW to make a blog so thread it is! If you wanna ask questions, do so! I will answer almost anything (provided it's not nasty, disgusting or silly). So here goes...
    so, I am a 17 year old (18 in september 2011) and I love literature! I love to read. So I started reading as a child, but I only read adventure books. I wasn't really into the whole literature stuff. And then, as I was entering my college years, I realised that it said a lot about what I had been through in the past two years. You see, you cut it short, I fell madly in love with a boy and he broke my heart. If you want anymore on this story, just ask and I may fill you in
    So I was heart broken and perhaps a way of forgetting it was by getting stuck into a brilliant, yet challenging book. I started with Tess of the D'urbevilles as I was nearing the end of Year 11. Thus, I fell in love with Hardy. I then read the Road as a favourite English teacher of mine wouldn't stop talking about it. Perhaps that was a bad reason - I found it mediocre next to Tess. Dreary, depressing, boring. It took me a long time to read.
    So then that summer between Year 11 and the first year of college, the summer of freedom - no work to do, friends, holidays and funfunfun! Or not. For me, it was the exact opposite. You see, Within two weeks of my nine week holiday, I had abdominal surgery and I was in hospital for 4-5 days. My Parents were there for me every step of the way, and so were my good friends Hannah and Molly (Hannah and I have considered each other 'sisters' since we met when we were 7).
    I couldn't walk properly for four weeks. At the fifth week, I was beginning to stand up straight again, but I couldn't walk for 20 minutes without wanting to collapse. For the first three weeks I slept twice a day. At around 3pm, I grew so exhausted as if i'd been awake for 24 hours.
    So this didn't help my mental situation, with the heartbreak and all...
    But it developed my mind so much and moved me towards literature so much that I will never give it up!
    I am now studying English Pre-U in my 6th form college. The Pre-U is a 2 year literature course which was created by Cambridge University and is above the normal literature exam. After 2 years, we take a huge exam... well anyways, what I would like to al about on this blog is how the books i has got me to read have influenced, changed, disgusted me and/or made an impact.
    But I need to write an essay about Interesting Villains (focusing on Richard III) right now. So I will start another time x
    Since you mentioned The Road, I'd also like to recommend No Country for Old Men (from Cormac McCarthy, the same author). It's an intense read and the movie is just as good as the book.
    "We look at the world, at governments, across the spectrum, some with more freedom, some with less. And we observe that the more repressive the State is, the closer life under it resembles Death. If dying is deliverance into a condition of total non-freedom, then the State tends, in the limit, to Death. The only way to address the problem of the State is with counter-Death, also known as Chemistry." -- Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

  6. #6
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    I think the road gets better the more you read it, it also helps to think of the story of genesis too. Also, the fact that he dedicated it to his son really shows the emotion to it, i have heard from people who read it initially, then, after having a child, could not finish it because it was too emotional for them. It's supposed to be dark and depressing, not for everyone I guess!

  7. #7
    I read "Return of the Native" about the same time as reading "The Road" and found Hardy far superior... Have you only read Tess? Why not read some more? He's written almost as many great novels as Dickens. If you find a diet of Hardy getting a bit bleak, try Nicholas Nickleby...

  8. #8
    madz
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    so shall I continue?
    So I didn't do that essay I had to leave for and still haven't! My exams got in the way. (Philosophy and Ethics, and History) So I'd like to discuss Margaret Atwood today and see what people think of her. I started to read The Handmaid's Tale. (My friend, who is a huge Margaret Atwood friend warned me of this book, so perhaps it was a bad idea...) I opened the first page and instantly.. I never wanted to read a Margaret Atwood again (no offense, Marge - I'm sure you tried hard!). However, I have a little rule of my own which is that, once a book has been started, it must be finished. I don't know where this rule came from, perhaps it's part of the OCD i am worried I may have developed from the past two years... anyway!... I told myself to finish the book but on every page, the writing just annoyed me so much! Did anyone else find that? The way she wrote.. how do I describe it? Perhaps.. typical sadness, palimpsest writing. Read the first page of The Handmaid's Tale and you'll probably see what I mean. So I forced myself to read the book and even the story didn't interest me much! Where did she think she was going with it? And what was her point? Apparently Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood are better because the story and it's setting are interesting, however, the writing is similar, so I'm considering whether or not to read them... will they be as silly as the Handmaid's Tale or actually worth reading? Wow, I sound very critical of old Marge here, but I'm really just wondering aloud to myself. So I will ask the question to the public. What do you think of Margaret Atwood and her writing style?

    thankyou for the welcome. I hope you enjoy my little posts

  9. #9
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    Hello, if you're studying literature then I'm afraid that there is no getting away from certain core texts, and Atwood's Handmaid's Tale is one of them. Certainly stick with it because it will no doubt crop up again at some stage probably from a distopian/feminist/post modern angle along with the likes of Angela Carter.

    If you are looking to study literature then you need to be as objectional as possible. It is not likely (or realistic) that you are going to enjoy everything, but this doesn't matter, just be objectional and learn the trade.

    In terms of Atwood, she is quite solid writer with a decent reputation. Personally I thought that The Handmaid's Tale was OK, quite interesting even if it probably wouldn't be my thing by choice, but fair game.

    In terms of Hardy, if you liked Tess I would strongly recommend you to read Jude the Obscure, for me Hardy's best work.

    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

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  10. #10

    Cool As for Margarate Atwood ....

    Read The Blind Assassain. You'll enjoy it more than your current pick.

    As for The Road .... This is not Cormack's best. In fact, it may be his worst. With its repetitiveness, it reads as if he was late giving his publisher a draft he owed so he wrote this one over the weekend.

    As for Hardy ..... He is very prolific so it is best to read his best and skip the rest. Read these: Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Jude the Obscure, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I include the last, even if you have already read it, since it is among his best.

    For a fictionalized book about Hardy, be sure to read Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham, an author you should also pursue. Try Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence, The Razor's Edge, and his long semi-autobiogrphical novel, Of Humand Bondage. Also, his short stories are among the best of the 20th century.

  11. #11
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    I could not disagree more with your perception of The Road. He wrote it as a form of dedication to his son and the love he has for him. Repetition symbolizes the bleakness of their current state. The lack of time or anything meaningful besides the relationship between father and son.

  12. #12
    madz
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    i believe that a piece of literature is brilliant when it satisfies you regardless of how much you know about the author's past.
    For example, Sylvia Plath's poems are incredible even when you know nothing about her.
    And so, knowing nothing of Cormack Macarthy, I felt just dull and depressed when reading The Road.
    Of course, knowing more about the author adds a whole dimension to a book, for example, knowing that Hardy lived in Dorset, England (which I know very well) gives a whole knew perspective on his descriptions.
    However, I read The Road with no knowledge of Macarthy, let alone, his family life, so the book seemed just dull and dreary to me.

    hey, so continuing on with the Literature in my life:
    At school, I have been asked to take part in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
    This includes getting a subject you are particularly interested in and doing a big project on it, eventually, creating a piece of work (be it an object, film or a 5,000 word essay) showing what you have learned.
    I am thinking of looking at how evil in children's literature is shown.
    I am thinking of delving into Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Narnia.
    I decided against His Dark Materials seeing as there's so much in them, a whole 5,000 essay could be written on it!
    However, rather than writing an essay, I was thinking of creating a sort of documentary on the subject. Any ideas of what I could do/show/put in it? All I can think of is interviews with children asking them about 'the bad guys'.
    So if you have any recommendations for books I should read, or documentaries I should watch to help me get ideas, then suggest away!
    Thanks

  13. #13
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    a very beautiful and moving story i also love literature, especially English and american writers.. i think they're all great! i read tess of the d'urbervilkes some months ago and i loved hardy so much.. he's a great writer.. now i'm going to read "far from the madding crowd" by hardy .. i'm very curious. according to me literature is very important in many people's life .. a russian writer says that literature help him living i totally agree with him maybe it's the only friend that can never betray you! i wish you all the best .. and keep always reading :9

  14. #14
    Chess Neely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exodus238 View Post
    hey, so continuing on with the Literature in my life:
    At school, I have been asked to take part in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
    This includes getting a subject you are particularly interested in and doing a big project on it, eventually, creating a piece of work (be it an object, film or a 5,000 word essay) showing what you have learned.
    I am thinking of looking at how evil in children's literature is shown.
    I am thinking of delving into Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Narnia.
    I decided against His Dark Materials seeing as there's so much in them, a whole 5,000 essay could be written on it!
    However, rather than writing an essay, I was thinking of creating a sort of documentary on the subject. Any ideas of what I could do/show/put in it? All I can think of is interviews with children asking them about 'the bad guys'.
    So if you have any recommendations for books I should read, or documentaries I should watch to help me get ideas, then suggest away!
    Thanks
    Sounds interesting. I'd head down to the library if you have access to a decent one and read as much criticism as you can on fantasy literature or look online to give you some further ideas. You should be able to find something useful on LOTR and Narnia in particular. Looking at the portrayal of evil sounds workable to me - looking at the simple good Vs evil binary or considering how they operate conservatively, etc, etc could be good.

    For you project maybe you could combine filmed material within a presentation to add a little weight to your project? Something like that. You definitely need to do a lot of research either way for a 5000 word/equivalent presentation weight anyway. Sounds quite a lot for pre-A-Level work to me.
    Last edited by Neely; 06-23-2011 at 06:38 PM.

    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

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    Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.

    Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

  15. #15
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exodus238 View Post
    hey, so continuing on with the Literature in my life:
    At school, I have been asked to take part in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
    This includes getting a subject you are particularly interested in and doing a big project on it, eventually, creating a piece of work (be it an object, film or a 5,000 word essay) showing what you have learned.
    I am thinking of looking at how evil in children's literature is shown.
    I am thinking of delving into Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Narnia.
    I decided against His Dark Materials seeing as there's so much in them, a whole 5,000 essay could be written on it!
    However, rather than writing an essay, I was thinking of creating a sort of documentary on the subject. Any ideas of what I could do/show/put in it? All I can think of is interviews with children asking them about 'the bad guys'.
    So if you have any recommendations for books I should read, or documentaries I should watch to help me get ideas, then suggest away!
    Thanks
    Well, for a film presentation in addition to interviews you could select clips from the LOTR, HP, and Narnia films, etc.

    A paper would probably be easier to write. There is plenty of criticism out there on LOTR, Harry Potter, and the Narnia books. You need to go to your library's databases to search for those articles. Then once you've found a few skim through their bibliographies to find more sources and hunt those works down.
    Last edited by Drkshadow03; 06-23-2011 at 06:42 PM.
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