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Old 02-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #136
ragnevi
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Usually in Sweden and in the most countries in Europe a BA is 3 years and a Master degree is five years. Then it can be different between some educations profession.

One thing that is really different from the system in the US is that we don't have anything like college, and in Sweden we don't have any tuition fees.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:56 PM   #137
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When I was a depessed teenager I read a lot of Kafka's work, mostly because I could relate to the alienation the main character in many of his works felt.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:05 PM   #138
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My 14 yo LOVES Shakespeare and is upset that the teacher is making them read a simplified modern English version since she's already read a lot of his works.
I liked Shakespeare too as a kid. I think it depends on how it is taught. Macbeth was my favorite.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:30 PM   #139
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The idea of suspending disbelief isn't new, it's as old as stories themselves. Aesop's fables have been told for over 2,000 years with few people complaining that animals didn't talk. The Labors of Hercules aren't realistic, but that hasn't stopped the story being told for thousands of years. Gulliver's Travels isn't realistic. Fantastic stories have been told for ages, but at some point, it was decided that such stories were children's stories. That didn't mean they actually were children's stories. Of course, if you don't have to like science fiction or fantasy, it's just a matter of personal preference.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:34 AM   #140
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I got to #17 and got bored. I don't even have the attention span of a 10th grader.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #141
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I think the reason is because the reader has to work harder to suspend disbelief. In other words, I can read a literary novel and believe that everything in there has happened to somebody, somewhere, even if the particulars never all actually happened to one person. But I can't believe somebody used an invisible energy wave summoned by their mind to move a starfighter out of a bog, nor do I believe that somebody created a ring that made the wearer invisible.

Now, those who can suspend disbelief and accept the new rules of a fantasy novel (and even get enjoyment out of knowing and understanding those rules) have no issues enjoying fantasy, but that is not the masses.
Hmm. Interesting. I have no problem suspending disbelief. I'm reading a book (or watching a movie), and it plays in an other world than ours. Other world, other rules, peoples, physics and even with magic. Often, it's like the middle ages, but with the superstitions of that time (wizards, magic....) made real. Fine with me

I read that stuff because I *want* to have to suspend disbelief.

If you can't do that, then you lack imagination. IMHO, of course. (It's something else if you can, but don't *want* to.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #142
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I read that stuff because I *want* to have to suspend disbelief.

If you can't do that, then you lack imagination. IMHO, of course. (It's something else if you can, but don't *want* to.)
There is no right or wrong answer here. I think it's insulting to say that people who can't suspend disbelief of the supernatural lack imagination. It could be argued that people who can't think of an interesting story without using elements that don't exist lack imagination, or that people who think stories without superhuman elements are boring lack imagination.

I would say that we all have imagination, but it is not all of the same type or kind. And I would be hard pressed to say that one type or kind is better than another.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:18 AM   #143
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Rubbish, I tell you, absolute rubbish! If it's not one of the 37, it might as well be Captain Underpants!

Seriously though, I'd be very curious to see how 10th graders would do if they took this test. They couldn't have been assigned them all. And in any case, having been made to read them doesn't necessarily mean that they retained a great deal. Someone who reads a book by choice might well recall more than someone who was required to read it.
You're absolutely right. I was an English major in college, and we had to read a book a week for several semesters in a row (and none of them were short easy-read books). And of course that meant that I read a lot and retained very little, much less remembered the names of any of them. It's the equivalent of cramming for an exam, I suppose - you remember it for a day, maybe two, but it fades out of your long-term memory.

Captain Underpants! That's some quality reading right there! I move that that becomes the hottest title on any required reading list in any academic institution.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:02 AM   #144
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You're absolutely right. I was an English major in college, and we had to read a book a week for several semesters in a row (and none of them were short easy-read books). And of course that meant that I read a lot and retained very little, much less remembered the names of any of them. It's the equivalent of cramming for an exam, I suppose - you remember it for a day, maybe two, but it fades out of your long-term memory.

That's one way to sell Cliff's Notes.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:16 AM   #145
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Nope....it said I might be well read, but probably couldn't hold my own against today's 15 year olds LOL.


I believe it! I mean, they're curing cancer now for crying out loud!
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #146
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I had read 15, had heard of 7 and the rest never heard of. Typically, I fell down on some American stuff. But really I don't know how much such answers reveal about anyone. For example, I have a fairly dim memory of some of the stuff I read 50 or more years ago. OTOH when it came to the plays I hadn't just read them; I seen stage productions, multiple times for some of them.

Then do you get Brownie points for reading some of them in their original languages?

It's a very rough test indeed of whether one is or is not well read.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:21 PM   #147
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One problem with that list is that it incorporates books which many readers avoid deliberately. Does that make them ill-read or knowledgeable enough to know what they won't like?

I'm not going to be interested in middlebrow books on art and culture even when they include findings which are more accurate than those in older and more idiosyncratic work. Interesting that modern bestseller writers were on the list but not the Kandinsky of Point and Line to Plane, nor Hélène Cixous, Vasari, Julia Kristeva, Roman Jakobsen, Ruskin, Pater or even Lucy Lippard.

I hadn't read about six of the books and/or writers on the list: The generically titled History of Art, two books on American history (since I detest doting on the "Founding Fathers" and tactical accounts of the glorious massacre of Native Americans who were certainly here first), and two novels and a book of poetry which surely date me in terms of my ignorance of all three.

Then again, there was no Tanizaki, no Leopardi, no Khlebnikov, no Proust, no Flaubert, no Aristotle, no Petronius, no Djuna Barnes, no Racine, no John Stuart Mill, no Francis Bacon, no Jules Laforgue, no Mallarme, no Gide, no Celine, no Dante, no Valery, no Tolstoy, no Kobo Abe, no J. L. Borges, no Eugene O'Neill, no Strindberg, no Murasaki Shikibu, no Cavafy, no Chaucer, no Octavio Paz, no Denise Levertov, no Tristan Corbiere, no Virginia Woolf, no Mikhail Bakhtin, no Wallace Stevens, no Anna Akhmatova, no Heidegger, no Paul Celan or Ingeborg Bachmann, no Marinetti, no Robert Desnos or Max Jacob, no Roland Barthes, no Witkacy, no Osip Mandelstom, no Juan Goytisolo, no Rilke, no Robert Lowell, no Clark Coolidge, no Mina Loy, no George Eliot, no Julio Cortazar, no Octavio Paz, no Krasznahorkai, no Cioran, no Pound, no Graves, no Jan Potocki, no Raymond Roussel, no Alfred Jarry, no Baudelaire, no Lautréamont, Gombrowicz, no Jane Bowles, no Joyce or Beckett (of course), no minor neoclassical poets, no metaphysicals but Donne (as if Crashaw, Marvell, Alabaster and Herbert weren't just as important), etc., etc. --

-- all of which tells you the Christian Science Monitor's list reflects a shop clerk's idea of literacy.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 02-17-2013 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Missed a few *nos* the first time.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #148
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Probably not. . .

But I think I've proven that I reason better than one! Which attribute would you rather have when the Zombie apocalypse happens?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:31 PM   #149
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I had read most of the listed works aside from the poems, but almost none until I went to university, or even later. The only books from that selection I read in high school were To Kill a Mockingbird, Oedipus, and Macbeth, and I was older than 15 at the time.

I had the pleasure of re-reading Oedipus when I was in graduate school. The understanding and appreciation I acquired dwarfed what I'd grasped as a teenager. In high school, our teacher insisted we approach the work as a series of literary devices: this is foreshadowing, that is dramatic irony. In retrospect, it was a very sterile method.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #150
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There is no right or wrong answer here. I think it's insulting to say that people who can't suspend disbelief of the supernatural lack imagination. It could be argued that people who can't think of an interesting story without using elements that don't exist lack imagination, or that people who think stories without superhuman elements are boring lack imagination.
I don't know anything about suspension of disbelief. Why should I have to believe or disbelieve a story? I've always been able to go anywhere.

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I would say that we all have imagination, but it is not all of the same type or kind. And I would be hard pressed to say that one type or kind is better than another.
Mine is best. No question.
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