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(Slate)   Students should no longer read Catcher in the Rye, as someone wrote a better coming of age tale that is a work of literature instead of a middle-aged white male's fantasy that comes off sounding like the Stephenie Meyer of the 60s   (slate.com) divider line 137
    More: Spiffy, The Catcher in the Rye, Stephenie Meyer, narratives, white male, Holden Caulfield, Adam Ant, Peter Lorre, J.D. Salinger  
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8323 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 03 Nov 2012 at 2:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-03 12:52:57 PM  
My high school had us reading The Red Pony and Grapes of Wrath as coming of age tales.

I think our teachers were trying to overshadow the sunny and light optimism of the mid 70's.
 
2012-11-03 01:18:35 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com

Titty Sprinkles.

/ I used to go on rants about how dumb this book is. Then South Park made it sooo much easier for me. A picture really is worth a thousand words. Especially with a caption that you read in Morgan Freeman's voice.
 
2012-11-03 01:21:55 PM  
Shut up, Yoko.
 
2012-11-03 01:30:43 PM  
Holden Caufield is a whiny little biatch who couldn't even f*ck a hooker proper.
 
2012-11-03 02:18:39 PM  
So are we still going to use it to track brainwashed CIA operatives?
 
2012-11-03 02:22:03 PM  
So what's been heralded as a literary classic is that poorly written, subby?

/Never read it,believe it or not.
//Don't judge me.
 
2012-11-03 02:23:10 PM  
Hated that book. Holden was a pussy.
 
2012-11-03 02:26:10 PM  
I thought Catcher in the Rye sucked. But I didn't read it until I was around 22, so I assume that is part of the problem. Kind of the opposite of when my school had us read The Great Gatsby at 13.

That second book really improved with a few year's perspective.
 
2012-11-03 02:28:08 PM  

Apos: So what's been heralded as a literary classic is that poorly written, subby?


No, Catcher is very well-written. It's just that the main character is a colossal asshole and there's no real action or catharsis in the book. But those are the things which make it a masterpiece, and also mean that it's time to put it away, as art about nothing is nothing new today.
 
2012-11-03 02:31:14 PM  
Jason Taylor, its narrator, is a sensitive young stutterer and secret poet in Thatcherite England who recounts the personal revolutions of his 13th year.

I liked him better when he was called Adrian Mole.
 
2012-11-03 02:31:43 PM  
Gravity's Rainbow is my favorite coming-of-WTF tale
 
Skr
2012-11-03 02:32:16 PM  
I really detested the book. Maurice the Pimp was cool. He should have biatch slapped Holden out of his whiny reverie.

/some people call me Maurice, 'Cause I speak of the pompitous of love.
 
2012-11-03 02:46:21 PM  
I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.
 
2012-11-03 03:00:36 PM  
Not him.
www.newsbiscuit.com 

Disappointed.
 
2012-11-03 03:05:07 PM  
Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist
 
2012-11-03 03:06:31 PM  

mekki: I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.


Probably because you just described a lot of teens.

/not disagreeing with you
 
2012-11-03 03:08:58 PM  
I just didn't like it because I had a shiatty life and didn't see the point in reading about some other guy's shiatty life.
 
2012-11-03 03:14:18 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
*snip

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


Why don't these count as their own readings? I know they're plays, but is that the only reason?

/Signifying nothing.
 
2012-11-03 03:16:34 PM  
Catcher in the Rye was my favorite book when I was about fourteen. It isn't anymore, of course, but it worked for me. There's no reason to hate on a book because it was aimed at teenagers. We get it, we're all older, that stuff is trifling now. At fourteen, it was new and exciting.

Daria doesn't quite hold up (in that way) either, but it's still a fun (and funny show). I still have a copy of Catcher in the Rye, and I'll read it and remember how I was when I was fourteen, maybe chuckle at myself a bit. Plus the rant about people scratching "fark you" into the walls was one of the funniest pure rants on jerks who ruin the innocence of children in all of literature.
 
2012-11-03 03:21:13 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


No Paulo?
The Alchemist would be a great book for high school.
 
2012-11-03 03:22:19 PM  
Stephen King's It should be required reading for all 12 year olds.
 
2012-11-03 03:25:06 PM  
Never had to read Catcher for school thank god. Our male teen coming of age story was The Chocolate War, which was great because it taught us that trying to do the right thing will only get you punched in the mouth.

Eventually read Catcher and all the criticisms were correct. Holden is a one-note wimp and an archetypal loser.
 
2012-11-03 03:25:20 PM  
What about Margaret Atwood? Then again, maybe not 'til college, if one can be bothered at all ...
 
2012-11-03 03:25:20 PM  
Good God, I guess my high school literature teacher would have been considered a witch these days. She made us read, in this order: The Jungle; Lord of the Flies; and Animal Farm. Mind you this was at a small school in southern Arkansas, but I'm from a prior generation where the parents were not sending their kids to school to learn the same crap they were learning in church. These days between those books and the fact that she was a happily co-habitated lesbian, she has been removed from the school and replaced with some one "more in line with our school's values." Last I heard she was still teaching in Arkansas though, but in the more radically leftist Hot Springs school district. The children at my alma mater were robbed in losing her!
 
2012-11-03 03:25:46 PM  

whistleridge: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 425x340]

Titty Sprinkles.

/ I used to go on rants about how dumb this book is. Then South Park made it sooo much easier for me. A picture really is worth a thousand words. Especially with a caption that you read in Morgan Freeman's voice.


1,000X This. and i've learned more from episodes of South Park than I did in college. when watching South Park episodes becomes part of the required curriculum for school children we will have reached the dawn of a new and bold day for education in America, hallejuah!

mekki: I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.


And you're qualified on the subject, or another Online Psychiatrist sharing an uneducated opinion? The DBS is spot-on and more polite than I.
 
2012-11-03 03:26:48 PM  

BattleFrenchie28: Why don't these count as their own readings? I know they're plays, but is that the only reason?


The curriculum and the exam specify that 12 grade students read ONE long dramatic work and four novels. I usually teach one Shakespeare play each year and sneak in Antigone. We also do Oedipus in 11th grade, so they have another option to choose from for their Public.
 
2012-11-03 03:27:20 PM  
Fight Club?
 
2012-11-03 03:29:34 PM  
Is this the thread where whiny biatches whine and biatch about Holden Caulfield being a whiny biatch?


[willywonka.jpg]

/your book sucks
 
2012-11-03 03:31:03 PM  

Richard Freckle: No Paulo?
The Alchemist would be a great book for high school.


I wish. This is the same list (give or take) that I had to choose from when I was a student 10 years ago. Thankfully, they removed Robinson Crusoe from the list.
 
2012-11-03 03:34:55 PM  

Teresaol31: Good God, I guess my high school literature teacher would have been considered a witch these days. She made us read, in this order: The Jungle; Lord of the Flies; and Animal Farm. Mind you this was at a small school in southern Arkansas, but I'm from a prior generation where the parents were not sending their kids to school to learn the same crap they were learning in church. . .


See, it's funny. We do Lord of the Flies in 11th grade, and it's hands down the most popular book among my high school students. It's one of the few books where the majority of kids will read for homework it when it's assigned and will often read ahead. I think Animal Farm is lost on kids these days, though it was one of my favourites in high school. I've never been able to make it work very well.
 
2012-11-03 03:59:13 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Teresaol31: Good God, I guess my high school literature teacher would have been considered a witch these days. She made us read, in this order: The Jungle; Lord of the Flies; and Animal Farm. Mind you this was at a small school in southern Arkansas, but I'm from a prior generation where the parents were not sending their kids to school to learn the same crap they were learning in church. . .

See, it's funny. We do Lord of the Flies in 11th grade, and it's hands down the most popular book among my high school students. It's one of the few books where the majority of kids will read for homework it when it's assigned and will often read ahead. I think Animal Farm is lost on kids these days, though it was one of my favourites in high school. I've never been able to make it work very well.




we read Lord of the Flies in 7th grade I think... In retrospect, it's a fairly dark book for middle schoolers, but it's not a difficult read for that age.


though on the subject of Animal Farm, it was funny watching 2 guys doing a report on Animal Farm my senior year and them being completely oblivious to the obvious allegories/metaphors in the book.
 
2012-11-03 04:01:41 PM  

KrispyKritter: whistleridge: [4.bp.blogspot.com image 425x340]

Titty Sprinkles.

/ I used to go on rants about how dumb this book is. Then South Park made it sooo much easier for me. A picture really is worth a thousand words. Especially with a caption that you read in Morgan Freeman's voice.

1,000X This. and i've learned more from episodes of South Park than I did in college. when watching South Park episodes becomes part of the required curriculum for school children we will have reached the dawn of a new and bold day for education in America, hallejuah!

mekki: I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.

And you're qualified on the subject, or another Online Psychiatrist sharing an uneducated opinion? The DBS is spot-on and more polite than I.


Wow, who peed in your cornflakes? Or were you one of those teenagers who was, "Oh, Holden is so like me! He speaks to me in ways no other character has ever done?"
 
2012-11-03 04:15:01 PM  
i3.squidoocdn.com
 
2012-11-03 04:26:44 PM  
I love it when people reveal that they "learned things from South Park". As if that's some sort of ivy league education they have attained from a half hour cartoon. " I know all about Scientology; I know all about Mormonism because I watched South park.". When people say poop like that I can dismiss them as idiots. South park is funny, but please stop using it as a point of reference
 
2012-11-03 04:31:15 PM  
When my friend went to college he made sure to bring ten copies of Catcher in the Rye with him, just to freak out his roommate. It worked.
 
2012-11-03 04:33:05 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Holden Caufield is a whiny little biatch who couldn't even f*ck a hooker proper.


25.media.tumblr.com
Disapproves
 
2012-11-03 04:33:29 PM  
Students should no longer read Catcher in the Rye, as someone wrote a better coming of age tale that is a work of literature instead of a middle-aged white male's fantasy that comes off sounding like the Stephenie Meyer of the 60s

"Those are not categories that I would use to evaluate a writer, nor would I trust anyone who judged a writer by the color of their skin, let alone their gender."
 
2012-11-03 04:46:18 PM  
I'm fortunate I never had to read this in school or any of the typical high school type "boring" reads like catcher in the Rye, Tale of Two Cities, Grapes of Wrath, or Wuthering Heights in my level of literature classes. My teachers took a much more modern perspective on forcing kids to read morality / coming of age tales and only the dumb kids who could barely read anyway had to read that crap. We basically read soft-core porn, bawdy comedy, and sensationalism and our teachers justified it as we were "further along in emotional and intellectual development and can handle more advanced concepts".

I never had a book assigned that I dreaded reading. Though, to be fair, I've picked up many of these books later and quickly saw why the teachers wanted nothing to do with them. They may be classics, but they're crap. Especially Catcher in the Rye. My teenage self, given the choice between Catcher in the Rye and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead or "selected passages" from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, would proudly side with the likes of Douglas Adams.


TL;DR: Forcing kids to read doesn't have to hurt, that concept needs to be stripped from high school literature.
 
2012-11-03 04:52:04 PM  

gadian: We basically read soft-core porn, bawdy comedy, and sensationalism and our teachers justified it as we were "further along in emotional and intellectual development and can handle more advanced concepts".



So.... Shakespeare?
 
2012-11-03 04:59:58 PM  

goganbunch: I love it when people reveal that they "learned things from South Park". As if that's some sort of ivy league education they have attained from a half hour cartoon. " I know all about Scientology; I know all about Mormonism because I watched South park.". When people say poop like that I can dismiss them as idiots. South park is funny, but please stop using it as a point of reference




I want to agree with you, but this is preventing me from doing so.


/I generally like South Park, but I think their Satire episodes are generally terrible.
 
2012-11-03 05:08:51 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye

In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


I'd probably choose the five bolded above. But I have to say, I was more moved by A Separate Peace and The Chocolate War than I was by CITR.
 
2012-11-03 05:11:30 PM  
JD Salenger was shiate.
 
2012-11-03 05:24:07 PM  
Read it in high school, hated every minute of it, couldn't tell you a thing about, liked Hamlet better, a girl once told me I WAS Holden Caulfield.

/ Jude the Obscure sounds interesting tho.
 
2012-11-03 05:24:43 PM  
I preferred the Pokemon version:

www.videogamedj.com

A wonderful classic, along with

images.geeknative.com.s3.amazonaws.com

and

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-11-03 05:28:14 PM  
I remember reading The Outsiders in high school.


/Read Catcher in the Rye when I was older, thought Holden was kind of douchey
 
2012-11-03 05:32:13 PM  
Worst high school book I had to read: Tess of the D'urbervilles. Did they not have editors back then?
 
2012-11-03 05:33:01 PM  
A suggestion for a modern addition to a fiction reading list:

Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'.

I'm a bit biased as I have liked everything of his I've read, but this book in particular would be a great read - and a terrific jumping off point for writing/talking points on various cultures, myths, legends. ethics etc.

If we're talking a more modern feel to an older work:

Seamus Heaney's 'Beowulf: A New Translation'

I thought it was brilliant.

I'd be depressed if John Updike's Rabbit books, or John Irving's books didn't hold their attention...
 
2012-11-03 05:44:32 PM  
The problem is that Catcher in the Rye is no longer was never a book for cool high school students. Catcher in the Rye is a book for cool obnoxious, self-absorbed, pretentious, high school teachers. 

Seriously, the most annoying teachers in High School were the English teachers.
 
2012-11-03 05:50:39 PM  
listen, if that Morman Monster gets in the whitehouse, I'm going to be handing out copies of the book to every psycho with a boiled lobe or two...

I have a box ready to go...
 
2012-11-03 05:51:09 PM  
It's forcing kids to read books like this that turn them off reading for their entire lives.

First , teach them that reading can be fun.
 
2012-11-03 05:52:49 PM  
Tried to crack it once. Couldn't do it. Too boring.

What was so important about this book that people decided to elevate it?
 
2012-11-03 05:52:53 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


None. But I found compulsion reading tedious at best. I devour books when I do read, but it has to be something I'm interested in. Stale language never did it for me. I detest and loathe shakespear in the buff (non-updated language), and even things from the turn of the 1900s bore me.

Part of the problem is that many of those stories simply came to be the basis of our modern tales, and people think reading them will give insight into things. I just found it sleep inducing.
 
2012-11-03 05:59:44 PM  

Hunter_Worthington: The problem is that Catcher in the Rye is no longer was never a book for cool high school students. Catcher in the Rye is a book for cool obnoxious, self-absorbed, pretentious, high school teachers. 

Seriously, the most annoying teachers in High School were the English teachers.


Mine was annoying, but for different reasons.

/idiot, vapid twat, she was.
//Didn't even really begin to understand English until grade 12 because then it wasn't so inane anymore
 
2012-11-03 06:01:40 PM  

CujoQuarrel: It's forcing kids to read books like this that turn them off reading for their entire lives.

First , teach them that reading can be fun.


Because what kids like to read these days are so enriching.

Compulsory reading is how they are ever going to be challenged.
 
2012-11-03 06:06:50 PM  

Marshal805: Tried to crack it once. Couldn't do it. Too boring.

What was so important about this book that people decided to elevate it?


It's a very good, very timely book. In context, probably one of the most important pieces of fiction ever written. Which is the problem, I think. Outside the milieu of the 50's, Holden's SPECIFIC problems, and the language used in the book, are just not relevant any more. Certainly his overall adolescent issues are universal; but modern kids are going to be bored by the prep-school setting and won't get why Holden feels so trapped by his wealthy lifestyle that most of us never had. And the terrible language that so shocked 50's readers is quaint today and kids are not going to understand why adults in "Catcher" thought Holden was being so rude.

"Catcher" is really meaningless today unless it's couched in terms of its historical context, or unless the teacher is able to present it in terms of the universal issues that all teenagers face. Just handing a 15-year old a copy of the book and saying "Here, read this" isn't going to accomplish much. It hasn't aged well. Holden IS a whiny biatch, and an entitled one by today's standards, and only a good English teacher is going to be able to cut through all that to make him sympathetic to kids raised on "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" (if they've read anything at all).
 
2012-11-03 06:06:59 PM  

Marshal805: Tried to crack it once. Couldn't do it. Too boring.

What was so important about this book that people decided to elevate it?



I think it speaks to a lot of sociopaths.

personally, I don't think it's as bad a book as it's been made out to be. Maybe it's because I hadn't read it until I was 20 or so, but even if I agree with some of the outlooks, I think it's handled on a very immature level; which is why I think it speaks to teenagers. Ayn Rand strikes me as kind of the same, but generally advocating very wholly atrocious social policies where Catcher in the Rye is just general biatching.
 
2012-11-03 06:25:19 PM  
 
2012-11-03 06:46:17 PM  
Why don't I just read whatever the fark I want to read
 
2012-11-03 06:52:19 PM  
The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game
 
2012-11-03 06:55:55 PM  
Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball!

Marv (though probably for a younger crowd)
 
2012-11-03 07:05:40 PM  
I didn't read catcher in the rye until I was in my 20s (it was my husband's book, not mine). I read it in an afternoon and I didn't get what all the hub bub was about. The protaganist had all the personality of a newspaper left out in the rain.

My "teen/preteen angst" novel was "Girl of the Limberlost". For my mother it was "Anne of Green Gables". Everyone should be able to find something that speaks to THEM. I can understand the need for high school teachers to want to expose children to different writings, but perhaps we should stop telling kids WHAT to read and just encourage them to read more. Let them find their own way. They'll find books they like and books they don't like and their tastes will mature and evolve. It's how it should be. The focus should be on selling to kids the concept of reading for enjoyment.
 
2012-11-03 07:16:08 PM  
CITR was the shiattiest book of all time
 
2012-11-03 07:17:53 PM  
gadian:
soft-core porn, bawdy comedy, and sensationalism

Yeah, we read "The Canterbury Tales" too.
 
2012-11-03 07:22:15 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org 
 
2012-11-03 07:24:35 PM  
goganbunch: I love it when people reveal that they "learned things from South Park". As if that's some sort of ivy league education they have attained from a half hour cartoon. " I know all about Scientology; I know all about Mormonism because I watched South park.". When people say poop like that I can dismiss them as idiots. South park is funny, but please stop using it as a point of reference

Huh. You know who I dismiss as idiots? People who say "South park is funny."  The world's a funny place, isn't it?
 
2012-11-03 07:52:02 PM  
Dunno why he's dissing Jude the Obscure, I thought it was wonderful. Especially that bit where Kate Winslett takes all her clothes off and you can clearly see her slit through her bush.
 
2012-11-03 07:53:13 PM  
We already had a coming of age book. It's called "The Sorrows of Young Werther".
 
2012-11-03 08:06:09 PM  

Zarquon's Flat Tire: I thought Catcher in the Rye sucked. But I didn't read it until I was around 22, so I assume that is part of the problem. Kind of the opposite of when my school had us read The Great Gatsby at 13.

That second book really improved with a few year's perspective.


I thought it sucked as well and I read it at 15/16. I just couldn't stand how whiny the protagonist is, he's like the ultimate loser.

"Oh the world is soooo phoney." NO shiat SHERLOCK!!!! This isn't news!

In the 50's it might have been a groundbreaking book, but right now it isn't, like many other literary "classics".

I did have a faux intellectual classmate at mine say "You can't relate to the Catcher in the Rye because you never were a kid", but she's a dumbass.
 
2012-11-03 08:23:22 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


Your students will pick which ever ones that they can stream the movie version online for free.

When I was going into High School, we had to have read Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, The Guns of Navarone, and Black Like Me before the first day of school. There was a test on day one. Messed up my summer of playing Commodore 64 games a bit.
 
2012-11-03 08:27:52 PM  

shortymac: Zarquon's Flat Tire: I thought Catcher in the Rye sucked. But I didn't read it until I was around 22, so I assume that is part of the problem. Kind of the opposite of when my school had us read The Great Gatsby at 13.

That second book really improved with a few year's perspective.

I thought it sucked as well and I read it at 15/16. I just couldn't stand how whiny the protagonist is, he's like the ultimate loser.

"Oh the world is soooo phoney." NO shiat SHERLOCK!!!! This isn't news!

In the 50's it might have been a groundbreaking book, but right now it isn't, like many other literary "classics".

I did have a faux intellectual classmate at mine say "You can't relate to the Catcher in the Rye because you never were a kid", but she's a dumbass.


How exactly did she explain your life cycle?
 
2012-11-03 08:31:41 PM  
Oh High School books...there was no better way to kill the love of a great novel than to endlessly analyze the hell out of it. Rereading them now I do enjoy and appreciate them. Even The Great Gatsby, which I swore to never appreciate after spending a SEMESTER in my junior year of High School agonizingly going over every sentence.

Really liked The Catcher in the Rye, but Ghost World was my favorite book. That is an excellent coming of age book, they go from happy teenagers who banded together to avoid being outcasts and end up growing apart. It is a graphic novel however and will probably never be taken seriously.
 
2012-11-03 08:43:13 PM  
I read "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret" and spent years not knowing that women don't wear sanitary belts any more.

A suggestion for a modern addition to a fiction reading list:

Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'.

I


The book reads like it was written by a high school creative writing student and the substance can be boiled down to "HEY AREN'T I A BADASS ANTIHERO IN A TRENCHCOAT? ALL WOMEN SURE ARE WHORES.HERE'S A LAUGHABLE PLOT THAT SHOWS PROOF I ONCE LOOKED AT A JOSEPH SCOTT CAMPBELL BOOK" so I guess it would appeal to a certain kind of high schooler.
 
2012-11-03 08:47:25 PM  
When I was in 7th or 8th grade I saw a list of books that had been traditionally regarded as controversial and had been banned from school libraries in the past. Naturally I wanted to read as many of them as possible and Catcher in the Rye was one of the first I took it upon myself to read. My reaction to it was basically the same as the South Park kids when they first read it. I was the typical loner/introverted kid for most of my public school career and even I would have thought Holden was an unlikable pissant had I known him in person. A few years ago I decided to re-read it, wondering if I might be able to better appreciate it being older. Nope, I thought it was even worse.

If you thought this book was bad, don't even try "The Perks of Being A Wallflower". I read this in high school after hearing a lot of good things about how much it speaks to blahblahwhateverhighschooldemographic and the protagonist in that book makes Holden look like genius in comparison.
 
2012-11-03 08:48:29 PM  
Subby sounds racist.
 
2012-11-03 08:50:43 PM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


How about an entirely different list altogether? (I'll keepharkleberry Finn)...the other nine:

- 1984
- A Handmaids Tale
- Fahrenheit 451
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- The Stand
- Everybody Poops - HA! OK, ok, ok...waitwaitwait...*phhhpphpttttt* HAHAHAH! OKokokok, waitwaitwait...The Road
- Slaughterhouse Five
- Plato's Republic
- Five Lectures by Sigmund Freud

Because I'm such an expert not an expert - not even close.
 
2012-11-03 09:01:08 PM  

DaCaptain19: xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist

How about an entirely different list altogether? (I'll keepharkleberry Finn)...the other nine:

- 1984
- A Handmaids Tale
- Fahrenheit 451
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- The Stand
- Everybody Poops - HA! OK, ok, ok...waitwaitwait...*phhhpphpttttt* HAHAHAH! OKokokok, waitwaitwait...The Road
- Slaughterhouse Five
- Plato's Republic
- Five Lectures by Sigmund Freud

Because I'm such an expert not an expert - not even close.


Get rid of The Stand, and replace Five Lectures with The Future of an Illusion and that would make for a pretty engaging reading list.

/It might also make sense to arrange reading lists around a theme, instead of being disparate collections of classic works
 
2012-11-03 09:12:51 PM  
Threads biatching about CITR are more tired than the book itself.
 
2012-11-03 09:28:57 PM  

DigitalCoffee: The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game

IT

? You're proposing for school reading a book which includes, among other things, a pre-teen gangbang scene? I'm sure that'll fly with the think-of-the-children brigade.
 
2012-11-03 09:30:16 PM  
Catcher in the Rye is a great book. Problem is it's got tons of baggage from its reputation. Just enjoy it in a vacuum, forget the rhetoric.

Not to mention Franny and Zoey and the great short story collections Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenters and the great Nine Stories.

I've also got a short story collection of Hemingway that's about three inches thick. That sick fark knew how to write right.

And then there's Bukowski...
 
2012-11-03 09:39:59 PM  
I myself just finished A Confederacy of Dunces, which was excellent, and have since moved on to David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Figured that would be a nice transition into my usual winter reading, which is usually 19th century and/or intimidatingly dense. But it's not quite cold enough yet for Dostoyevsky.

Or Gabriel García Márquez for that matter - I have tried to slog through One Hundred Years of Solitude on probably six or seven different attempts, and I just can't manage it.
 
2012-11-03 09:43:34 PM  

Robo Beat: DigitalCoffee: The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game

IT? You're proposing for school reading a book which includes, among other things, a pre-teen gangbang scene? I'm sure that'll fly with the think-of-the-children brigade.


Well, the think-of-the-children brigade can come on down here, too. They'll float just as well as everyone else.

/we all float down here
//only some will float on their over-inflated, self-important, egos
 
2012-11-03 09:47:02 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org

Seriously, though...Catcher in the Rye sucked balls.
 
2012-11-03 09:47:17 PM  

Khazar-Khum: We already had a coming of age book. It's called "The Sorrows of Young Werther".


Written by that phony Gerta.
 
2012-11-03 10:35:43 PM  

r1chard3: Read it in high school, hated every minute of it, couldn't tell you a thing about, liked Hamlet better, a girl once told me I WAS Holden Caulfield.

/ Jude the Obscure sounds interesting tho.


Jude the Obscure=Saddest.Book.Evar.
 
2012-11-03 10:56:19 PM  
Like Holden Caulfield I tell myself there's got to be a better way
Then I lie in bed, and stare at the ceiling
And dream of brighter days
 
2012-11-03 10:57:17 PM  
When I read the title of this thread I decided I was going to come in here and just post: Black Swan Green, FTW. Then I decided to read the article first and see what book they were talking about...

Boy would that have looked stupid...

It really is THAT good... (Not that I think Catcher was.)
 
2012-11-03 10:58:48 PM  
We read "A Seperate Peace" as a coming of age novel in school. It was kind of disturbing, because of all the talk of the draft (was it WW2 or Vietnam? I forget.), and the murder, and the private school that seemed to focus on getting ready for the army.

I thought the teacher was trying to send us a message. Most of my class ended up committing atrocities in Iraq, so I guess the message stuck.

//No, that's not some anti-war statement. I mean they took pictures of themselves playing with dead bodies and shared them with others.
///farking fark.
 
2012-11-03 11:04:51 PM  
Does anyone read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in school anymore? That might have been one of the only non-Shakespeare readings I enjoyed in high school.

Henry IV Part 1
Henry V
MacBeth
To Kill A Mockingbird
Heart of Darkness
Great Gatsby
Stone Angel

I read "The Kontiki Expedition" in grade 9 which was pretty cool as well.

/ I don't remember much else (I'm sure there was more), but I have 25 reasons for that (each of them 12 months long).
 
2012-11-03 11:21:31 PM  

ModernLuddite: We read "A Seperate Peace" as a coming of age novel in school. It was kind of disturbing, because of all the talk of the draft (was it WW2 or Vietnam? I forget.), and the murder, and the private school that seemed to focus on getting ready for the army.

I thought the teacher was trying to send us a message. Most of my class ended up committing atrocities in Iraq, so I guess the message stuck.

//No, that's not some anti-war statement. I mean they took pictures of themselves playing with dead bodies and shared them with others.
///farking fark.


I'm going to have to ask you to put up some proof of this (other than your own say so), and barring that take back your vicious slander against a group of people far better than yourself.
 
2012-11-03 11:24:12 PM  
When I was the age to read Catcher In The Rye I read Portnoy's Complaint instead. Which is why I post on Fark.
 
2012-11-04 12:25:19 AM  
Thankfully, I dodged that bullet. Instead, I had to read:

1.bp.blogspot.com

Fuk that book! Damn thing should have been renamed "200 Pages of Boring as Hell Fishing". That's ALL THE GODDAMN BOOK WAS ABOUT!

And fuk everything Hemingway ever wrote. Asshole should have shot himself sooner before writing that crap and having some English teacher force me to read one of his books.

/on the plus side, I really enjoyed Bradbury's F451 and Something Wicked
 
2012-11-04 12:26:37 AM  
Portnoy's Complaint was good!
 
2012-11-04 12:37:05 AM  
I just read The Old Man and the Sea at the age of 47. I tried to read The Sun Also Rises in my 20s. I just don't like Hemingway.

I guess I am missing it. Everyone else loves him. I find him boring. I find his characters boring. I don't like his shallow stabby short sentences.

I liked:

A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (one of my all time fav's)
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Chosen
Of Mice and Men
Tom Sawyer
Huckleberry Finn

CITR was okay and I liked parts - but it felt incredibly dated, like 1950s New York.
Great Expectations blew. A Tale of Two Cities would have been so much better.
And Tess, my least favorite book of all time.

We also read some book where these kids in the late 1960s - a lot of talk about how scenes from the Vietnam War was being broadcast right into peoples living rooms - and the kids steal a truck and crash it at the end. In 1980, this was very dated. I had never seen a television report about Vietnam that I could remember. This was before Youtube.
 
2012-11-04 01:05:36 AM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


Add Small Gods.
 
2012-11-04 01:16:19 AM  

aegean: just read The Old Man and the Sea at the age of 47. I tried to read The Sun Also Rises in my 20s. I just don't like Hemingway.

I guess I am missing it. Everyone else loves him. I find him boring. I find his characters boring. I don't like his shallow stabby short sentences.


I tried to get into Hemingway during graduate school, and I just found him full of shiat. It's odd since he's linked to formalism (a genre that thinks that writing isn't affected by the time it's written) yet most of his writing is completely nonsensical when taken out of the context of World War I. I remember trying to figure out what 'Big Two-Hearted River' was about and had to be told it was about the War because 'it mentioned everything BUT the war.' Sorry, if you're reading between the lines that much, we're not even into literature but farking mind-reading.

That said, Catcher in the Rye proves one thing: the Baby Boomers have held the concept of youth for so long that now it's utterly pointless. The world has changed immensely since the days of Holden. The prep school and class issues would have been enough to get around, but putting it fifty years ago (and right after a giant social upheaval) has completely negated everything powerful about the book. Those who find it a sign of childhood are reflecting through their own nostalgia.
 
2012-11-04 01:16:58 AM  
I read Catcher in high school when I was about 17. I thought it was a great book. re-read it a few years later. Still great.

Sure he's not the greatest character in the world, but he's probably more 'real' sounding (a socially and mentally troubled youth) than most of the other characters I've read.
 
2012-11-04 02:24:16 AM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


If you're going to give students a choice like this, you could at least structure it so that the student encounters a variety of stories from different times and places. For instance, have him chose one book from each of the four following groups:

A) Any play by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, or Shakespeare; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; The Song of Roland; Any two Canterbury Tales and the General Prologue.

B) The Vicar of Wakefield (Goldsmith); Emma (Austen); Wuthering Heights (Bronte); Candide (Voltaire); Hard Times (Dickens); The Picture of Dorian Gray (Wilde); Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll); To the Lighthouse (Woolf); Dubliners (Joyce).

C) The Red Badge of Courage (Crane); Huckleberry Finn (Twain); As I Lay Dying (Faulkner); Member of the Wedding (McCullers); The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald); Main Street (Lewis); Native Son (Wright)..

D) The Stranger (Camus); A Clockwork Orange (Burgess); On the Road (Kerouac); Slaughterhouse-Five (Vonnegut); The Crying of Lot 49 (Pynchon); Things Fall Apart (Achebe); Beloved (Morrison).

Plus a fifth book from any of the four groups.

Obviously, I believe that the books students read for school should be more challenging than the books they read for pleasure and that curricula should be structured to give a survey of literary history, not just a random selection of texts, Consequently, I never seriously considered becoming a high school teacher.
 
2012-11-04 02:47:00 AM  
phonies just hate mirrors
 
2012-11-04 03:03:24 AM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: I read "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret" and spent years not knowing that women don't wear sanitary belts any more.



That book was the reason I tried out my first tampon at 13. The whole sanitary belt/pad nonsense just sucked balls.
 
2012-11-04 03:10:16 AM  

SineSwiper: Thankfully, I dodged that bullet. Instead, I had to read:

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 300x456]

Fuk that book! Damn thing should have been renamed "200 Pages of Boring as Hell Fishing". That's ALL THE GODDAMN BOOK WAS ABOUT!

And fuk everything Hemingway ever wrote. Asshole should have shot himself sooner before writing that crap and having some English teacher force me to read one of his books.

/on the plus side, I really enjoyed Bradbury's F451 and Something Wicked

The Old Man and The Sea

is a great book to help learn a foreign language. Since the sentences are so short and tight, a good translation will map really well to a dictionary for the language of your choice.

And fishing is awesome, so the book is awesome by reflection.
 
2012-11-04 03:34:46 AM  

Khazar-Khum: We already had a coming of age book. It's called "The Sorrows of Young Werther".


Now there is a biatch that needs an ass kicking right there.

Between that and Notes from the Underground, I grew up with the impression that 19th century Europe was the domain of giant walking pussies.
 
2012-11-04 04:48:13 AM  

thunderbird8804: I'm going to have to ask you to put up some proof of this (other than your own say so), and barring that take back your vicious slander against a group of people far better than yourself.


Volunteering to go murder people for money doesn't make someone better than someone who doesn't.
 
2012-11-04 04:57:39 AM  

SineSwiper: Thankfully, I dodged that bullet. Instead, I had to read:

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 300x456]

Fuk that book! Damn thing should have been renamed "200 Pages of Boring as Hell Fishing". That's ALL THE GODDAMN BOOK WAS ABOUT!

And fuk everything Hemingway ever wrote. Asshole should have shot himself sooner before writing that crap and having some English teacher force me to read one of his books.

/on the plus side, I really enjoyed Bradbury's F451 and Something Wicked


Interestingly enough he shot himself partially because of the FBI. He thought the bureau was spying on him and friends had him put through electroshock therapy. He was prescribed medication that may have contributed to a depressive state after his release. A FOIA request made in the 80s revealed they were indeed spying on him. J Edgar Hoover had a 120 page file on Hemingway because of his time spent in Cuba.
 
2012-11-04 06:27:59 AM  
Coming of age book I'd like to see on a school book list: Nation (Terry Pratchett). Excellent piece of writing and incredibly heart-wrenching. Or maybe the Tiffany Aching series* because 1) it's fun 2) it's full of magic & fantasy & 3) it doesn't even pretend to try & be a coming of age story. It's just a story about a kid who has to grow up - fast. And that's the best kind of coming of age fic.

*Wee Free Men/Hat Full of Sky/I Shall Wear Midnight

Chrysalids was the coming of age story of choice way back in my highschool years. I enjoyed it & all the other John Wyndam books because they were just as weird & warped as I am.
 
2012-11-04 06:59:48 AM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


Huck Finn.

My HS freshman English teacher had us read "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton and "Puppet on a chain" by Alistair MacLean. Not great Lit, but it did get us reading. He also made us read CITR. I liked it.
 
2012-11-04 08:11:08 AM  

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: Stephen King's It should be required reading for all 12 year olds.


Every child should know that the only way to avert world-destroying evil is for an abused girl to pull the train with her male friends.
 
2012-11-04 08:16:00 AM  
My sophmore honors English class had us read "A Walk to Remember" .....
 
2012-11-04 09:20:49 AM  
It's amazing how much you people confuse reading a book for entertainment and reading a book in order to think/write critically about it with the support of research.
 
2012-11-04 09:53:37 AM  

mekki: I always thought that Holden was clearly Bipolar. His moods were all over the map. He had poor impulse control. Showed poor judgment. Felt hopeless all the time. And was easily distracted and quick to upset. He even wound up in the hospital in the end. Wondered why teachers and kids alike kept on saying that it spoke to so many teenagers on their level.


Because Holden resembles most teenagers, teenagers are very self-referential, and teachers know this, but want teenagers to read?
 
2012-11-04 10:06:01 AM  
Never had to read it, thank God. But I was stuck with one of the most womynist English teachers on earth, who made us read a shiat-ton of books centering on women (Summer, Sula, The Assistant, some Jane Farking Austin crap) and what is still one of the biggest literary jokes of all time in my mind, Ted Hughes' Crow. We all had to choose poems out of it and do our own little presentations about it. I really can't remember ever liking any of my English teachers until college, when I had the guy who treated us like adults.
 
2012-11-04 10:10:21 AM  

LiQuid!: Never had to read Catcher for school thank god. Our male teen coming of age story was The Chocolate War, which was great because it taught us that trying to do the right thing will only get you punched in the mouth.

Eventually read Catcher and all the criticisms were correct. Holden is a one-note wimp and an archetypal loser.


An author who fought his way across Nazi-occupied Europe with the 4th Infantry Division can write whatever he wants; what adversity has David Mitchell faced? If I survived the Hurtgen Forest, I might harp on angsty themes myself. And if you think Catcher is depressing, read Salinger's short stories, some based on actual persons and events.
 
2012-11-04 10:14:50 AM  
Catcher in the Rye sucked, and the language is outdated.
 
2012-11-04 10:25:17 AM  

tafka: Coming of age book I'd like to see on a school book list: Nation (Terry Pratchett). Excellent piece of writing and incredibly heart-wrenching. Or maybe the Tiffany Aching series* because 1) it's fun 2) it's full of magic & fantasy & 3) it doesn't even pretend to try & be a coming of age story. It's just a story about a kid who has to grow up - fast. And that's the best kind of coming of age fic.

*Wee Free Men/Hat Full of Sky/Wintersmith/I Shall Wear Midnight

Chrysalids was the coming of age story of choice way back in my highschool years. I enjoyed it & all the other John Wyndam books because they were just as weird & warped as I am.


Everyone should get a good dose of Pratchett/P.G. Wodehouse/Thurber/Adams just to test them for the existence of a sense of humor. And everyone who aspires to wax poetic in public should be able to quote Shakespeare, the King James Bible, Robert W. Service and filthy limericks with equal aplomb.

FTFY
 
2012-11-04 10:26:37 AM  

DigitalCoffee: The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game


You're proof that classic fiction needs to be compulsory. In these times, a book about mass poverty and class violence has more relevance than one about a clown in a sewer.
 
2012-11-04 10:29:52 AM  

Barricaded Gunman: You know who I dismiss as idiots? People who say "South park is funny."


Still butthurt about the cop burning his copy of Atlas Shrugged, Randroid?
 
2012-11-04 10:37:35 AM  
i hate that farkin book. switch to Small Gods
 
2012-11-04 10:38:11 AM  

tafka: Coming of age book I'd like to see on a school book list: Nation (Terry Pratchett). Excellent piece of writing and incredibly heart-wrenching. Or maybe the Tiffany Aching series* because 1) it's fun 2) it's full of magic & fantasy & 3) it doesn't even pretend to try & be a coming of age story. It's just a story about a kid who has to grow up - fast. And that's the best kind of coming of age fic.

*Wee Free Men/Hat Full of Sky/I Shall Wear Midnight

Chrysalids was the coming of age story of choice way back in my highschool years. I enjoyed it & all the other John Wyndam books because they were just as weird & warped as I am.



tiffany aching FTW!
 
2012-11-04 10:40:17 AM  

thunderbird8804: ModernLuddite: We read "A Seperate Peace" as a coming of age novel in school. It was kind of disturbing, because of all the talk of the draft (was it WW2 or Vietnam? I forget.), and the murder, and the private school that seemed to focus on getting ready for the army.

I thought the teacher was trying to send us a message. Most of my class ended up committing atrocities in Iraq, so I guess the message stuck.

//No, that's not some anti-war statement. I mean they took pictures of themselves playing with dead bodies and shared them with others.
///farking fark.

I'm going to have to ask you to put up some proof of this (other than your own say so), and barring that take back your vicious slander against a group of people far better than yourself.


/former Army
//seen the war porn too, wagon-circler
 
2012-11-04 10:45:06 AM  

Guntram Shatterhand: The prep school and class issues would have been enough to get around, but putting it fifty years ago (and right after a giant social upheaval) has completely negated everything powerful about the book.


Because naturally people who go to Groton or Andover never attain positions of prominence these days; all you need is a high test score to make it in America today!
 
2012-11-04 11:10:56 AM  
My fav 'old classic' coming-of-age was 'Member of the Wedding' when I was a teen.

Interesting thing was my mom did -not- like the book, and was amazed when I pointed out it was on the list as a literary classic - a list made by a source she trusted. To quote another classic source... 'Doh'!
 
2012-11-04 11:11:08 AM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: thunderbird8804: ModernLuddite: We read "A Seperate Peace" as a coming of age novel in school. It was kind of disturbing, because of all the talk of the draft (was it WW2 or Vietnam? I forget.), and the murder, and the private school that seemed to focus on getting ready for the army.

I thought the teacher was trying to send us a message. Most of my class ended up committing atrocities in Iraq, so I guess the message stuck.

//No, that's not some anti-war statement. I mean they took pictures of themselves playing with dead bodies and shared them with others.
///farking fark.

I'm going to have to ask you to put up some proof of this (other than your own say so), and barring that take back your vicious slander against a group of people far better than yourself.

/former Army
//seen the war porn too, wagon-circler


Your say so isn't going to be enough either I'm afraid, especially for the charge of atrocity.

/The American military leaves quite a bit to be desired, but I am prepared to defend it against this flippant and fatuous form of anti-Americanism that gets passed around today's rather feeble anti-war movement
//And I've got a few more f-words at my disposal if you would like
 
2012-11-04 11:15:34 AM  

FeedTheCollapse: I think their Satire episodes are generally terrible.


I do hope you consider Great Expectations an exception.
 
2012-11-04 11:22:12 AM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: DigitalCoffee: The only people that really like TCITR are the author/publisher (who get money for the copies), the schools/teachers (that can get discounted copies), and parents (because they had to put up with that boring shiat and they'll be damned if their sprog will get out of doing the same). No one else gives a rats ass about those books (unless they can get money/votes/good press for saying that they like them).


These books need to go:
- The Catcher In The Rye
- Tess Of The D'urbervilles
- The Grapes of Wrath

Replace them with:
- Stranger In A Strange Land
- IT
- Ender's Game

You're proof that classic fiction needs to be compulsory. In these times, a book about mass poverty and class violence has more relevance than one about a clown in a sewer.


Bullshiat is still bullshiat and trying to spray perfume on it doesn't make it smell any better. If these books were really any good then you wouldn't have to force people to read them. Instead of one or two people saying they were 'ok' or just 'meh', you'd have a thread full of people saying how great they were; how enjoyable they were to read and how relevant they were to read. You don't and they weren't.

Reading can be enjoyable, informative, and relevant to purpose without having to be boorish twaddle.
 
2012-11-04 11:40:21 AM  

xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring
Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist


I've read the four I've italicized above, so I guess one of the others. Maybe Schindler's List.
 
2012-11-04 11:41:54 AM  

SundaesChild: xpennyroyaltyx: Macbeth/Othello/The Theban Plays
The Stone Angel
Huckleberry Finn
The Fellowship of the Ring

Away
A Separate Peace
Catcher in the Rye
In the Hands of the Living God
Dracula
Schindler's List
Baltimore's Mansion

My students have to read at least five from this list in order to write their Public Exam at the end of the school year. What would you choose?

/CITR apologist

I've read the four I've italicized bolded above, so I guess one of the others. Maybe Schindler's List.


Duh, they were all italicized. I need more sleep and/or some coffee.
 
2012-11-04 11:47:42 AM  

ko_kyi: FeedTheCollapse: I think their Satire episodes are generally terrible.

I do hope you consider Great Expectations an exception.


I haven't seen that episode, actually. I was thinking more of the Quints episode. Even though I otherwise think the episode's funny, Good Times With Good Weapons is also an example of South Park's awkward use of satire: it feels like the entire episode is a giant set up for the last minute message of "it is weird that violence is more accepted than nudity', especially when the rest of the episode seems to give no indication that there's supposed to be any further subtext to the plot.


Though it doesn't really go hand-in-hand with satire, I guess, I think South Park is probably a bit too bombastic to properly pull off satire, so it either ends up going way out of its way to make a point (Good Times With Good Weapons) or its message can be summarized as "This is stupid! DERP!" (pretty much any (though mostly newer) episodes centered around Pop Culture icons. i.e. Twilight, Jersey Shore, etc.). I also find that even though it gets praised for taking on very recent subjects due to the show's quick production pace, those episodes tend to be dated very quickly. (i.e. Quints)
 
2012-11-04 11:53:24 AM  

DigitalCoffee: Bullshiat is still bullshiat and trying to spray perfume on it doesn't make it smell any better. If these books were really any good then you wouldn't have to force people to read them.


Many books are read for their relevance. I didn't particularly enjoy reading To Kill A Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies but in both cases by the end -- even as a middle-schooler -- I understood why the school made me read it. The Grapes of Wrath falls into this category. School is for learning. We can have a nice long discussion about things schools do badly, including sucking all the life and critical thinking out of children, but it's not supposed to be all fun and games. You can read IT on your own damn time.

Catcher in the Rye, though, strikes me as the sort of book recommended to teenagers only because of the premise. Not that there aren't things to be learned from reading it, but I think it's assigned for all the wrong reasons. Just because I was a whiny self-absorbed teenager doesn't mean I'll take to a book about a whiny self-absorbed teenager. I don't think I have as much to gain and frankly it's a little insulting.

As for SMeyer (as long as subby mentioned to coont), I read a little bit of the Twilight books (excerpts and such) and she's fascinatingly bad. To someone seeking to improve their writing skills, it's almost academically interesting how thoroughly she's a textbook case of how NOT to write. Thankfully you don't need to read more than a few pages to get the point.
 
2012-11-04 11:54:01 AM  
Really? The '60s? The book was first published in 1951, and probably a lot more relevant then.
 
2012-11-04 11:57:59 AM  

SundaesChild: A Separate Peace


Oy, I'd forgotten all about that one. A forgettable story, forgettable characters, forgettable writing. . . that was one book I finished shaking my head, wondering why the hell I read it. Not that it was bad; it was just unremarkable in every way. Like a well-made plain yogurt.

Now, The Canterbury Tales (unabridged) in Middle English. . . RIP Mr. McCabe; you were too clever by half. Among all the reading assignments I had from kindergarten to high school, that one was pure genius.
 
2012-11-04 01:27:32 PM  
thunderbird8804
Your say so isn't going to be enough either I'm afraid, especially for the charge of atrocity.

Well, there was that massive leak of internal Army documentation on this subject that became the biggest news item of the 21st century.

The US Army helicopter pilots murdering the two Reuters journalists and later killing surrendering insurgents were especially hot items.

Your head-in-the-sand method of coping is cute though, so you have that going for you.
 
2012-11-04 01:47:37 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: thunderbird8804
Your say so isn't going to be enough either I'm afraid, especially for the charge of atrocity.

Well, there was that massive leak of internal Army documentation on this subject that became the biggest news item of the 21st century.

The US Army helicopter pilots murdering the two Reuters journalists and later killing surrendering insurgents were especially hot items.

Your head-in-the-sand method of coping is cute though, so you have that going for you.


That's a little closer, but you're going to have to be more specific. There's been a lot of leaked army documentation recently (and none of them that come to mind are "the biggest news items" of any century), which document(s)? Your description of the killing of the Reuters journalists as "murder" is debatable as it hasn't been established whether or not the pilots knew they were firing on members of the press, and as to the surrendering insurgents you'll also have to clarify what or which incidents you mean.

/Evidence is key, anyone who would accept the truth of a serious charge on your word alone is not doing their due dilligence
 
2012-11-04 02:37:54 PM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: In these times, a book about mass poverty and class violence has more relevance than one about a clown in a sewer.


I would say that a clown in a sewer is quite an apt metaphor for today's politics.
 
2012-11-04 03:34:13 PM  
Just thought I'd say that I read Black Swan Green recently and thought it was great. I'd have loved it when I was a teenager.

I'd also recommend Red Shift, by Alan Garner, a book about teenagers in the 2nd, 17th, and 20th centuries connected by a hill, an axe, and mental illness. But it was draining as hell to read.
 
2012-11-05 10:23:58 AM  

DigitalCoffee: Ender's Game


My daughter's HS will cover Ender's Game next year, so I am getting a kick...
 
2012-11-05 11:17:44 AM  
As Howard Stern says, I'm stuck in perpetual adolescence. My favorite quote from the book...my older sister was reading it for a class and I some how found this passage:

"The only good part of his speech was right in the middle of it. He was telling us all about what a swell guy he was, what a hot-shot and all, then all of a sudden this guy sitting in the row in front of me, Edgar Marsalla, laid this terrific fart. It was a very crude thing to do, in chapel and all, but it was also quite amusing. Old Marsalla. He damn near blew the roof off. Hardly anybody laughed out loud, and old Ossenburger made out like he didn't even hear it, but old Thurmer, the headmaster, was sitting right next to him on the rostrum and all, and you could tell he heard it. Boy, was he sore."
 
2012-11-05 12:30:59 PM  
BolshyGreatYarblocks: Still butthurt about the cop burning his copy of Atlas Shrugged, Randroid?

WTF?
 
2012-11-05 04:49:23 PM  

dragonchild: DigitalCoffee: Bullshiat is still bullshiat and trying to spray perfume on it doesn't make it smell any better. If these books were really any good then you wouldn't have to force people to read them.

Many books are read for their relevance. I didn't particularly enjoy reading To Kill A Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies but in both cases by the end -- even as a middle-schooler -- I understood why the school made me read it. The Grapes of Wrath falls into this category. School is for learning. We can have a nice long discussion about things schools do badly, including sucking all the life and critical thinking out of children, but it's not supposed to be all fun and games. You can read IT on your own damn time.

Catcher in the Rye, though, strikes me as the sort of book recommended to teenagers only because of the premise. Not that there aren't things to be learned from reading it, but I think it's assigned for all the wrong reasons. Just because I was a whiny self-absorbed teenager doesn't mean I'll take to a book about a whiny self-absorbed teenager. I don't think I have as much to gain and frankly it's a little insulting.

As for SMeyer (as long as subby mentioned to coont), I read a little bit of the Twilight books (excerpts and such) and she's fascinatingly bad. To someone seeking to improve their writing skills, it's almost academically interesting how thoroughly she's a textbook case of how NOT to write. Thankfully you don't need to read more than a few pages to get the point.


Agree with you that there is a difference between reading for pleasure and reading for education.

The problem is a lot of the "classics" need to be read from a historical and sociological perspective, which most English curriculum fail miserably at.

I think I would have enjoyed Catcher in the Rye much better if it had been taught in the context of 1950's censorship and optimism and this book flying in the face of that. Teaching it as a "coming of age" story doesn't fit the narrative and Holden just comes off as a whiny rich kid with problems.

For a modern English class I would recommend "Less than Zero" if you can get it under the censor's radar, I think I like it better because the narrator is more of a passive observer.

I'm lucky my High School English teach made us read a bunch of different books along with psychological books like Erich Fromm's "Escape from Freedom".
 
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