However I feel that I must warn you all that it may be a longer wait than would be normal or acceptable for the very simple fact that I am also reading Don Quixote on my eReader. Yes folks, I’m afraid that 25 year old me is slowly being dragged into the classics that teen me turned my nose up at for ‘not being exciting enough’. I originally thought the same thing about Don Quixote (having never actually started reading it, mind) and am totally sucked in now.
Having found a beautiful site known as Project Gutenberg I have added the likes of Persuasion, Emma, Don Juan, Lorna Doone & more to my eReader, Mimi, and my teenage self is slouched in a corner consoling herself with the fact that at least I still have ‘interesting’ books on my bookshelf. Even worse for her is that I admit, and I never thought I’d say this, my teachers were right. There are some great classics out there that I should’ve opened myself up to before and resent that I’m only now getting round to them. Although I still hold Kate Chopin & Ian McEwan as big black marks against you lot so don’t start looking too smug any English teachers reading this!
Another hand in this is my mum who didn’t stop me from reading Dracula when I was very young and who then thrust ‘A Brave New World’ at me when I was looking for something to read (was that floating round the house already or did you buy that with me in mind?) We have books all over the house and, despite our different tastes in books, growing up around them opened my mind slightly more than it would’ve been.
I really do think that, unfortunately, the style of writing can be enough to put a person, teenage or otherwise, off reading some of the classics. I’m not saying by any means that they should all be updated with modern language though, as that would cause many of the books to lose some of their magic that helped them to become ‘classics’, what I hope is that the English teachers just continue to do the best they can with whatever the syllabus gives them in school (and lord I hope there’s at least some Shakespeare in there!) so that the student isn’t as daunted when they finally get round to opening one of these books. If it weren't for Hamlet (still my favourite) and other works like it I may have felt a bit more scared about tackling some of the 'biggies'.
In all I would just like to say ‘Thank you’ to all my English teachers and to every teacher out there trying to keep that spark in a student alive until they are capable of carrying it themselves.Forget the syllabus and teach them the good stuff *cough* The Duchess of Malfi *cough*.