Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CHOICE SCRAPS FROM UNPUBLISHED POSTS PART I

HOMER - THE ODYSSEY

"Now, obviously, The Odyssey was not nearly as good as Rick Riordan's stuff, but it was still pretty good."


SHAKESPEARE - HAMLET

"Had to read for English Honors (yes, I am in 8th grade and taking 10th grade English, GET OVER IT) it was confusing and weird, Shakespeare, how you confuse me is beyond words, I bet if Yoda read this book he could decipher it, or better yet if Yoda wrote a book I would understand it better than this.... Oh well... I couldn't really understand the plot, but hey I got an A- and passed the class so IM SO DONE WITH THIS"

"Is it bad that I'm reading the No Fear version? Sounds like a cop-out, being an English teacher and all, but I just want to sit and read the story and enjoy it over the weekend without having to 'study' every speech for ten minutes like when I teach Macbeth or R & J. Oh well, sue me."


MACHIAVELLI - THE PRINCE

"Cheat to win is a philosophy that at times delegates how I play ultimate, teach, and get through the day."

"If we consider amoral politics to be the Hunger Games, Machiavelli has written a How-To manual for winning the game, desperately hoping that a Katniss will read his book and win on behalf of his district (Italy). Ultimately, his project is as objectionable as hers."


WOOLF - A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN

"Woolf's discussion about Aphra Behn, the fictional Shakesphere's sister is excellent."


MILTON - PARADISE LOST

"We had some fantastic discussion about Satan's character in Paradise Lost during my English class. I now only have a vision of him as this emo 15-year-old wearing a black t-shirt that says 'Humans = Death' (he, of course, rotates this shirt with his 'Satan is our king' hoodie)."


JOYCE - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN

"Very soon, the book becomes a vehicle for astonishingly long-winded discourses on various issues better dealt with in a monograph; and midway then, Portrait ceases to be a novel or even a work of fiction really; as a diehard fan of literary fiction, having admired so many non-traditional novels, I have to say that this is an ugly book, with nary a human connection or relationship of warmth ... I'm a PhD candidate in English, and I'm deeply saddened by reading this. Portrait is an insult to the scores of wonderful novels from this past century that don't get the same recognition because they are not by James Joyce. Avoid if you can help it."


FREUD - THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS

"Dreams cannot be interpreted, they're random imagery. And Freudianism most definitely doesn't qualify as science. Anyone thinking otherwise is an utter idiot. And I absolutely hate it how every second film director has to put 'Freudian symbolism' in their works. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING THEM GODDAMMIT. If your movie cannot be understood without knowing 'Freudian symbolism' then it's garbage, period."


KAFKA - THE CASTLE

"Okay, let me get my two cents in. As a lover of surrealism, a huge Kafka fan, and above all as a writer, I can vouch for this book. Was it bland? Yes. Was it dull and repetitive and even poorly written? I'd say so. Truth is, I didn't even read beyond Chapter 3. But this isn't a bad novel. We have to remember that this is a rough draft, a sketch if you will, of a novel left on the writer's desk. Hell, the draft wasn't even finished. Of course it's going to suck! Because it is unfinished. It is not published as the writer even intended it to be. Hell, Kafka didn't even want the bulk of his writing's to be published. I decided to stop reading this because to do so is disrespectful to the author."


NIETZSCHE - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL

"His cause is further damaged by paragraphs containing no topic sentence and no resolution. Some paragraphs ramble on so long that even if there were a topic sentence, one would be hard pressed to remember it by the end."


SUETONIUS - THE TWELVE CAESARS

"A collection of the biographies of the twelve emperors of Ancient Greece from Julius Caesar to Domitian.
I found out that not all of emperors are great leaders. One of them is Caligula, a mentally deranged man. What he did is unbelievable. If he does not like his constituent is doing he want that person to suffer like being burned or tortured. He even engage in same sex relationship which is really shocking. I never thought homosexuality existed then already."

"I find it amazing that these alleged geniuses never seem to consider that perhaps Rome fell because the Romans were idiots who no longer took responsibility for their own actions. Accountability is something that isn't a foreign concept to the academics; it's something that is an alien thought process. And when I say alien, I don't mean a passive alien like ET."


SALINGER - THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

"I should not be rating this. It is my unrelieved pride in life that I have not read this book, that I will not read this book, that I, alone, utterly condemn this book as well as its author. Nor do I, have I ever, or will ever drive a car. I am unlicensed."


MELVILLE - MOBY-DICK

"HATED IT SO MUCH. As a person with a degree in literature, I feel quite guilty about this. Maybe need to try again. It did not help when the professor asked a question during our discussion of it and no one answered, so I offered my answer. Big mistake. For some reason that brought on ridicule and eventually the statement that 'ANY answer besides mine would be correct.' Which wasn't even true and quite harsh. I'd say not so conducive to the liberal arts learning method. Given how much we were paying, I should have told him what was what. But I was not nearly assertive enough in those days."

"HOW DARE YOU TELL ME I'M WRONG? DON'T YOU KNOW MY PARENTS ARE PAYING FOR THIS EDUCATION?" ~ TERRIBLE ENGLISH MAJOR #85002


SAPPHO - POEMS/FRAGMENTS

"It’s hard to like Sappho. I know, I know, I’m being horrible. She’s an early feminist icon and she was a great poet and all of that sort of thing, but we have only one poem of hers in complete form, and the rest of the fragments have been so deeply mined by other poets that its hard to see where she’s being original. Sure, the first time someone said that moonlight was like silver that was mindblowing stuff…and it may well have been her, but her metaphors are tired now, and her work is so fragmentary that I can’t see it as more than the leftover choppings of the Romantic poets."


HAWTHORNE - THE SCARLET LETTER

"It was very hard to read. I did enjoy the idea of being ostracized for the bad you did (is that wrong of me?)"

"I had to focus immensely on every detail ... ruining the fluidity of my mind slowly absorbing all the print.

Then class discussions were always about the symbolism within, why couldn't the letter be red because that's the fabric they had? Why is there symbolism with a meteor shower? Sounds like an asteroid belt got too close and the earth pulled in some stellar rocks- that's not too out of the normal.

I think teachers ruined this book by making my mind try to see things that it saw as mere coincidences or straight facts instead of hidden meanings."

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