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Old 07-17-2017, 03:47 PM   #16
Catlady
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
The test to see if someone has actually finished AK:

Spoiler:
They think the book ends with Anna's throwing herself in front of the train.


It doesn't.
I did read the Cliff Notes for the test, and still feel a tad guilty about it--I think it's the only assigned book I ever totally blew off. I have periodically tried to return to the book over the years, but have made little headway. I can't even make myself start the audiobook.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:10 PM   #17
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Shakespeare and Dickens were the mainstay of English Lit classes in my long-ago schooldays. I remember for sure reading "David Copperfield", "Great Expectations"," Julius Caesar", "Macbeth", and "Romeo and Juliet". The only other author I remember reading in school was William Golding's "Lord of the Flies".
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:14 PM   #18
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I did read the Cliff Notes for the test, and still feel a tad guilty about it--I think it's the only assigned book I ever totally blew off. I have periodically tried to return to the book over the years, but have made little headway. I can't even make myself start the audiobook.
British schools tend not to read translations as set books, so we stuck to British authors. If you read a translation of a book like "Anna Karenina", how much of Tolstoy are you reading, and how much the interpretation of the translator?

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Old 07-17-2017, 06:10 PM   #19
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Just as bad as reading the books I mentioned was dissecting them in class afterward. I really don't care what message the author was trying to convey or why characters acted the way they did.

I read fiction for its escapist entertainment value. If I'm not being entertained, then the book has absolutely no value for me and I'll stop reading it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:12 PM   #20
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I've read one Hemingway book, not in school, and one Fitzgerald book, also not in school. I enjoyed both. Neither were boring. In fact the Hemingway book I read, "The Old Man and the Sea" is a book I've re-read every few years ever since.

I haven't read anything by Faulkner that I can recall. But I've read and enjoyed practically everything by Maugham and Steinbeck. I re-read Steinbeck's books over and over every few years and I do the same with a couple of Maugham's books. These are just fun reading.

I'm not sure I can name a real favorite author but if I had to pick one Steinbeck is probably the most likely candidate. Maugham would certainly be on the list to choose from.

I read for the fun of it, not to learn or to become wise or more cultured or anything like that. I read what I feel like reading and those are good choices.

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Oh my! We're definitely polar opposites.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:15 PM   #21
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British schools tend not to read translations as set books, so we stuck to British authors. If you read a translation of a book like "Anna Karenina", how much of Tolstoy are you reading, and how much the interpretation of the translator?
Translations don't bother me. As long as the gist of the story is there, I'm satisfied.

After all, my favorite author is Verne and I don't speak or read French.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:22 PM   #22
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Nobody has.
I have (well I listened to it). We read it for the MR book club one month...
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:09 PM   #23
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Just as bad as reading the books I mentioned was dissecting them in class afterward.
I've often wondered if the disection is one reason so many dislike reading Dickens and Shakespeare.

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Old 07-17-2017, 07:13 PM   #24
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I always enjoyed parts of dissecting books in class. I never really go the symbolism or knew of any reason to care so that part was kind of boring. But discussing the characters and the story and the author's technique was, for me, just fun.

Barry
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:17 PM   #25
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I read fiction for its escapist entertainment value. If I'm not being entertained, then the book has absolutely no value for me and I'll stop reading it.
I read for entertainment. I don't think the idea of escaping through books ever really meant anything to me. For me reading is fun. Stories are fun. But so is the world I live in, at least most of the time.

That's especially true since I moved into a retirement home in rural Arkansas. I'm surrounded by really fun people. If anything they're my escape from reality.

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Old 07-18-2017, 01:29 AM   #26
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Shakespeare and Dickens were the mainstay of English Lit classes in my long-ago schooldays. I remember for sure reading "David Copperfield", "Great Expectations"," Julius Caesar", "Macbeth", and "Romeo and Juliet". The only other author I remember reading in school was William Golding's "Lord of the Flies".
I don't know how I forgot Dickens! I had to read A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield, but Great Expectations is actually one of my favorite books.

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I have (well I listened to it). We read it for the MR book club one month...
I guess I need to pick a different book that nobody finishes. Atlas Shrugged maybe? I suppose it should be a book that people actually start, though.

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British schools tend not to read translations as set books, so we stuck to British authors. If you read a translation of a book like "Anna Karenina", how much of Tolstoy are you reading, and how much the interpretation of the translator?
In college, a German lit class required reading Effi Briest and Faust in both German and English. I don't think I would have done something like that on my own, but found it absolutely fascinating.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:12 AM   #27
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Translations don't bother me. As long as the gist of the story is there, I'm satisfied.

After all, my favorite author is Verne and I don't speak or read French.
Oh, I agree with you entirely when I'm reading for pleasure, but English Literature classes in school aren't about reading for pleasure (although a good teacher should of course make them enjoyable), but about learning about the literary works.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:17 AM   #28
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Ones that I can remember:

A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Crucible
The Mayor of Casterbridge
a poetry anthology (which included Thomas Hardy)
Salar the Salmon (almost killed my love of books)
The Chrysalids

I remember there being a Tom Sawyer-like book, lots of outdoors-y activity with a couple of young boys. Can't remember what it was called.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:48 AM   #29
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British schools tend not to read translations as set books, so we stuck to British authors.
...because no other place in the world speaks English? *scratches head*

Besides, translations are worth discussing in their own right. It broadens the conversation, it doesn't narrow it. And the question was what books we studied at school - not what books we studied in English Literature class. (In Australia, English and English Literature are two separate subjects in upper school.)
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:52 AM   #30
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...because no other place in the world speaks English? *scratches head*

Besides, translations are worth discussing in their own right. It broadens the conversation, it doesn't narrow it. And the question was what books we studied at school - not what books we studied in English Literature class. (In Australia, English and English Literature are two separate subjects in upper school.)
Perhaps it works differently in Australia. In Britain - at least in my schooldays in the 1970s - English Literature classes were the only ones in which we studied books. We too had "English Language" and "English Literature" lessons, but we didn't read books in English Language.
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