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señor brushman!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
in advance, apologies for all the typos, my keyboard isn't working right.

I dunno if it's just me, my school, or what, but it seems like we read the most terrible, boring books on earth. It seems my teachers just go out searching for the most horrific book they can force us to read.

Like, in world lit class we just finished reading a "mid summer nights dream" by shakespeare and that was just aweful. reading shakespeare is like reading a different language

and then we have to read this like ancient artifact shiz like Oedipus and Odysseus. but it gets better...if the book was originially written in another language, but they translate it to OLD ENGLISH instead of modern english...oh joy....

Most of what we read seems like really old stuff...why can't we read something more modern that can at least keep our interest better? I'm sure there's tons of stuff- my dad who reads a lot suggesed lots of authors and books but i don't really remember.

And really, I don't have a problem with it being old if it's at least kind've interesting but most of the time it's not interesting at all.

another thing that came to mind was it seems they try to pull out symbolism and themes out of EVERYTHING. sure, it may be there in some cases but it seems to me at least half the time it's completely rediculous.

"what does that one kid standing on his head represent?" "it represents the freedom which he employs throughout the story which degenerates culterural aspects of his envirnment" or something i dunno..my dad told me when he was in highschool his teachr did the same thing. he was reading this story and the author specficialy stated that there's no symbolism and his teacher still tried to for example have his pipe smoking represent his "rebelness"

whateever kinda just rambling.

what do you guys think? I'm pretty bored so im just like whatever i'll post this.
 

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Sadomachiatto
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What would you rather read?

FHM and Harry Potter?

Learning is important, but it isn't always fun. That's something which is true to pretty much all of life. To be honest, reading stuff in old English is really interesting, because it can help you to understand how your own language works.

I've heard that in some places they even allow students to use 'u' instead of you and '2' instead of two/to/too.

Very dangerous and disheartening.

That said, I'll agree with you on the symbolism thing. I'm by no means a remotely good author, but I've had people put meaning in poems/lyrics/stories I've written where I didn't mean to put any in.
 

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señor brushman!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
FHM and Harry Potter
What's wrong with these? They're 100x better then anything else we've read IMHO.

And how come they don't let us pick what we read ourselves? Or, give us a choice out of a selection of books?

I agree learning is important, but you can learn from reading books other than that of shakespeare and similar stuff.
 

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Advocatus Diaboli
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I'm not a fan of Shakespeare, and his comedies aren't what I'd call funny. But the whole point of English as a subject is in part to study how the language is used and how to convey theme, meaning and emotion.

Shakespeare actually did this pretty well, but typically this comes across better on the stage more so than in a book.

Old does not always equal rubbish. The likes of Chaucer and Shakespeare remain strong today because what they talk about is quite universal, and the way it is said rings true. Although the language is antiquated, which does make it difficult to get into, it's still in the curriculum and even portrayed on television time after time because the imagery is still powerful.
 
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señor brushman!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not a fan of Shakespeare, and his comedies aren't what I'd call funny. But the whole point of English as a subject is in part to study how the language is used and how to convey theme, meaning and emotion.

Shakespeare actually did this pretty well, but typically this comes across better on the stage more so than in a book.
Yes, but can't we learn this through differnt books? methinks Shakespeare should stay in the Shakespeare specific classes.

Old does not always equal rubbish.
I agree. Just lots of the time it doesn't apply to modern culture and life (but yes, many times it does).

To be honest, reading stuff in old English is really interesting, because it can help you to understand how your own language works.
I don't agree with it being really interesting, but I can see how it may help you understand the language in some ways.
 

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Sadomachiatto
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I'll be honest, I don't really rate Dickens or Shakespere at all.

However, I'm still glad that I studied them. Does that make sense? I mean, I only know I don't rate them because I studied them, and read other stuff on my own.

My main concern with what you're saying is that.. it's a step in the wrong direction. By taking a step that way, are you potentially opening the floodgates for more such changes in the future?

As in, one generation later, kids complaining at having to study stuff like common fiction in favour of some leeting Final Fantasy 7 fan fiction?

Harry Potter maybe interesting.. however, I dunno... I'd not feel happy with my kids learning from them, simply because they're absolutely terribly written...
 

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señor brushman!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Harry Potter maybe interesting.. however, I dunno... I'd not feel happy with my kids learning from them, simply because they're absolutely terribly written...
I'd compeletely disagree with that. I think Harry Potter is one of the best written series in history.

I guess your right in the fact that we should still study all areas, but I think the emphasis should be on where the interest lies as long as it still teaches and holds educational value.
 

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Sadomachiatto
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The fact is, we can only disagree on Harry Potter because we've both actually read it.

And I'll support you if you're saying that a greater variety maybe needed. The English language, afterall, is still living and the most dynamic language on Earth.

So, nay to elimating 'classics' and yay to getting more variety in there.

.. or something. How does that sound?
 

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One Awesome Dude
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If it makes you feel any better - Shakespeare sort of improvised his own grammar, he doesn't even follow old English rules. So, it's twice as frustrating. :D
 

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If you've got a broken keyboard then I'm Mickey Mouse.

I'm gonna call your bluff and say that you just suck at English and this is nothing more than a rant thread. Even if you don't like what you're reading, surely you appreciate the importance of it. I would never read Shakespeare for leisure, but I still know he was some sort of don :party2:
 

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señor brushman!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you've got a broken keyboard then I'm Mickey Mouse.

I'm gonna call your bluff and say that you just suck at English and this is nothing more than a rant thread. Even if you don't like what you're reading, surely you appreciate the importance of it. I would never read Shakespeare for leisure, but I still know he was some sort of don :party2:
What's so hard to believe about a broken keyboard? Sure, it may of been a bit of a rant thread but it's nothing to get fussy over.
 

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Sir Proofreader
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Before we get sidetracked over broken keyboards, I might throw my bit in here.

I think the main problem with us not appreciating the 'classics' is that we weren't there!

I mean, I get this all the time when I listen to the radio. You know those 'hits of the 70's' kinds of programs? I listen to them, and I just think that everyone sounds like the Beatles. So really, why were the Beatles that great?

It's because they started it. They were playing the 'new sound' first. Because they were successful, everyone started to copy them. And now, when we look back, it just all looks the same. The only reason the Beatles stand out is because they had the success that not many other of their imitators did.

At least in Shakespeare's case, I think this is similar. Alright, so we may not have heard of anyone who copied him, but, back in his time, when he was writing plays, they were incredibly successful. He wrote them for the peasants, so the humour is crude and the script is written for them to understand. But whatever he was doing worked, because the peasants liked what he did.

I don't think I can successfully argue the merits of studying Shakespeare over any other text (except perhaps FHM), but I guess I'm just trying to give a context.

I think the important thing you learn from studying anything in English is to look for meaning. As was said earlier, it isn't always there. But when there is meaning, and this doesn't have to be just in text mind you, sometimes it's very important that you see it, and that you interpret it correctly. And that's why you're learning this stuff!

As a small aside, I wasn't that great a fan of Shakespeare either. I think it depends on who your teacher is, and what they studied, as to what they choose to inflict on you.
 
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I'll be honest, I liked Of Mice And Men. Lord of the Flies was pretty good too, and that's really all we have had to read so far. But I still have One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest and To Kill a Mocking Bird to go this year.

Lol all those titles have animals in them :D
 

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señor brushman!
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I read a couple of those books; Lord of the Flies is very okayish I thought, but I actually think that To Kill a Mocking Bird was decent (although I don't remember it very well). Come to think of it the stories we read last year were actually pretty good; I guess I just wasn't that interested in the books we've read this year though.
 

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Like Sister Bluebird, I've read books like of mice and men, lord of the flies, to kill a mocking bird, a lesson before dieing, as well as a very small chunk of shakespeare. (Books like taming of the shrew, a midsummer nights dream, macbeth, hamlet, romeo and juliet, and at least three others.) I actually liked just about every one of those and all but one of those was a school assigned book. (I went and picked up lord of the flies for leisure reading.) The only one I don't actually like is macbeth, but that was more due to the length than anything else.

Of course your not going to like every school assigned book you have to read, they wouldn't be able to call it work if you enjoyed it all of the time.:rofl ou said it yourself brushman, your probably not as interested in the books your reading this year as opposed to last year, that doesn't actually make them any better or worse; it just means they are less interesting to you...:C
 
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Daughter of Man
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this thread is whiny.

The reason you read these old (and sometimes not old at all) books and not books like harry potter is very simple. Harry Potter isn't about anything important. HP books aren't poorly written, but they don't particularly matter in the sense that thier content isn't relevant. Shakesperean plays and epics like Beowulf and homer's the iliad are representations of times past and examinations of the philosophy and the zeitgiest of those specific eras. You read them not because you like them but because they are meaningful. They give you insight into the minds of old and often ancient societies.

I remember I had to read Lord Of The Flies in grade 10. I hated that book. I still hate that book. It bored me to tears. However, the discussion aroused from the book wasn't boring at all. The ideas presented in the story were important and interesting.

Any artist can tell you that there is no symbolism in their work, and this is never true. Every facet of every creation is symbolic of something.

A story is never just a story, that doesn't mean that the story means anything worth writing about(cough harry potter cough), but that no artist can create something with value that has no meaning.
 

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Sadomachiatto
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I remember, with my friends, for a laugh we tried to read as much into a chapter as we could.. seriously, finding meaning in everything.

Contrary to getting scolded, we actually all got A grades that time, and were an example to the class.

Since then, I've been against 'studying' of literature and looking for meaning where there clearly isn't.

It's an interesting point that Moose mentions. That, even though an artist may not intend it, certain things within his/her work have meaning and symbolism regardless. I agree with this to a certain extent.

I still think, however, there's far too much extrapolation in the literary world.
 

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I still think, however, there's far too much extrapolation in the literary world.
I agree. I studied Jekyl and Hyde at school and at the end of the night Mr Hyde always went back into his house through the back door. My teacher said that this could be taken as some kind of homosexual reference!?

I remember thinking "ok...OR he was a big ugly monster and going in through the back door of his house was probably likely to attract less attention than waltzing in through the front! :C
 
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