Day 132: Retirement Reading

I’ve been reading up a storm during these first days of retirement.

In fact, I’ve gotten so many books from the library that I sometimes have to take them back and get in the queue again, with Bring Up the Bodies being a good example of this. Thank goodness a blogger announced that Bodies won the Booker Prize, because I rushed to get a copy from the library before the storm began. I’ve also “thought about” reading some classics, and I really do want to read Anna Karenina before the movie comes out. I never actually picked that one up when I got to the top of the library list. 🙂

Geoff Whaley, one of my blogging friends, talked about reading the classics, and this quote from his post really hit home with me.

I find it awesome that I’m reading books and authors who have inspired countless other authors, musicians and artists to create even more literature and art. The number of books I’ve read which have allusions to or direct references to older classics is staggering and the more I read the classics the more often I find these allusions and references or question whether an author/artist did do this.

Last night on Facebook after the debates, another friend quoted the line from The American President, where Michael Douglas tells Richard Dreyfus, “I AM the president”, which is one of the best movie lines of all time. I worry about the future of classic books and movies — will people “get” literature and film fully without understanding the allusions? I saw this in my classroom; many times I would quote a line from a movie or a book and the kids would look at me with blank stares. They had no idea what I (or the author we were studying) was referring to. It made me feel old, but it also made me sad for them. Do you remember this scene?

Am I the only one who cares about this?

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6 responses

  1. Henry David Thoreau – “Read only the best books first, lest there not be time to read them all.”

  2. Steve, I love that quote. I’m reading ALL for the present, though.

  3. Thanks for the mention, means even more you’re a former teacher!! It’s funny to think about because I know I was a pain in the ass in High School – especially in English class. I didn’t appreciate the literature, it was too challenging and not interesting for me at the time. I really just wanted to read my Star Wars and Fantasy novels. Being able to go back at my own leisure and find those I want to read has made all the difference in the world for me.

    1. I am wary about what memories my students will have about analyzing text in my class. I know they will say that I loved Poe — that’s a given.

      1. Haahaa – that’s alright, most students never realize how great their students are until WAY later 😀

  4. […] group has some great authors, but given that I’m currently working through Anna Karenina and eagerly awaiting the November 16 release of the movie starring Keira Knightley, I’ll […]

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