Friday, December 9, 2011

fall semester 2011 reading

i only took one class this semester
masterpieces of english literature
given the entire canon of english literature
i was a little dismayed by the three books we read.
these definitely wouldn't make my short list of english masterpieces.
but i'm not in charge.

we read these three books in class to examine the change in public attitude and widespread secularization around the turn of the century (19th to 20th) in great britain. 

***

heart of darkness
by joseph conrad


this is my third time reading this book for a class.
this is the first time i can actually remember what happens.
very quotable; has some interesting things to say about human nature.
my professor pointed out a lot of symbolism that i never noticed before
and that none of my other teachers ever pointed out.
i don't really ever want to read it again,
it's not that kind of a book,
but it's one of those books that should be read, at least once,
as far as academia is concerned.

***
the strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde 
by robert louis stevenson


more enjoyable than heart of darkness.
i've actually read this book before too, but of my own volition.
the only thing i don't like about jekyll & hyde is that
most of the book is pointless.
you really only need to read the last thirty-ish pages to get the main gist of the story.
i'd say 75% of the book is just stylized build-up
typical of the time period.

***

civilization and its discontents
by sigmund freud



technically i haven't finished this book.
i'm in the last chapter, and i'm probably not going to get any further.
freud is crazy. 
i've thought so since my into to psychology class
taken my freshman year.
i'm not going to sum it up.
just know that i disagree with almost everything he asserts.
but it was interesting to read in conjunction with the other two books.

***

we also read a bunch of poetry for this class
(most of which i've read before)
as well as a short story by kipling
the man who would be king

1 comment:

Sarah Ann said...

Okay, I followed over here from a comment you left at Nat the Fat Rat and I'm so glad I did! I'm a book blogger for 303 Magazine in Denver, so I love finding other bloggers that write great book reviews! Yay!

I'll be back to read some more for sure. If you want to come say hi, I have a personal blog over at reverie.

Love,
S