Seminars on how to read great literadture

I can’t decide whether this is funny, absurd or tragic. Or all three.

In Phoenix, somebody is now conducting seminars at $120 a pop, on how to read great literature.

Is the outrage that they are charging for this service and can’t spell “literature”?

I dunno, but that is probably not such a bad idea. Reading Dickens can be a bit of a chore, but is made much easier when you realise that much of it was written in an episodic fashion and should be read in that light. Tolstoy is a better read when you know why he keeps banging on about Events! and History! Similarly with Shakespeare, read it aloud!

It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. There are lots of things taught in a freshman lit class that can make classic literature more interesting and accessable. I can totally see that information being presented in a seminar format.

A seminar on how to read crappy literature, on the other hand…

Use your best Bogart voice with a little whistle in it.

I just finished reading Francine Prose’s book on reading and writing. Good stuff, made me notice things I didn’t pay attention to before. Didn’t cost $120 though.

Its definitely a skill. If all your reading is easy-going blockbusters there is just no way you can pick up something like Ulysses and expect to enjoy it. Thing is, getting to the stage in your reading where you can take on the difficult classics is a fantastic journey that usually embraces lots and lots of different books. Not convinced it can be compressed into a seminar.

Thomas Pynchon’s latest is kicking my ass right now. Maybe I should sign up, what with the strong pound and all. :slight_smile:

literature is what you consider great. I have a friend who worships Hemmingway, and if he were still alive would probably be some sort of stalker … I think pretty much everything he wrote sucked ass. Some people like Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, I think that they are all alike, and I dont really like more than 2 or 3 terrible puns in a book so you really couldnt pay me to read him. Some people like Anne Rice, and after the second vampire book, she started sucking like a hoover. Many people like Dickens, I really only like a few of his novels [tale of 2 cities, Oliver Twist and Christmas Carol.] I though Joyce’s Ulysses sucked donky dick and have no idea why people read it. I like reading shakespeare, and many people find him boring and the english hard to read. I happen to have read Democracy in America, and most people cant seem to make it past the first chapter without lots of caffein and some amphetamines to stay awake [but then again I have been reading political science all my life, one of my first books was about political cartoons in the newspapers in the 1800s, fascinating how the more things change, the more they stay the same]

Screw the seminar. if you pick up a classic and think it sucks, don’t sweat it, find something you like to read. It doesnt matter if it de Maupassant or Nora Roberts.

When I read the Iliad a few years back I had to rely on the footnotes provided by the author and I had to look up a few things. It starts out talking about Pallas Athena and I thought to myself, “Pallas Athena? When the hell did she get a first name?” Then I had to figure out who the Acheans, Argives, and various other groups of people were. I’d have to know what they actually taught in this seminar before coming to any conclusions. For $120.00 I’d be tempted to take a class at the local community college.


Homer wrote footnotes? :slight_smile:

I read it at 10, with my mom’s copy of Bullfinche’s Mythology and the oxford english dictionary on the side. I developed a love for greek epic poetry. mmmm, wine dark seas - always made me think of going topside on my grandfathers sailboat late at night on a lake crossing, hearing the gentle slapping of small waves on the hill, the sound of wind in the sails, and the water looking like dark velvet. Kids watching survivor and playing nintendo would probably be bored out of their little minds at the thought of sitting topside for half an hour smelling, listening, feeling and seeing pure nature.