A few folks asked me about why there are so many sad books in the English 10H Curriculum. I tried to answer this third hour, but I think I failed. So let me say this here instead: it’s true. There is a lot of sadness in literature more generally. One of the things that truly high quality literature does for us is simple: it causes us to face our humanity in new and striking ways.
Someone asked “why not more uplifting books?” I would say these ARE uplifting books, even though they’re not “happy.” They ask us to look at ourselves, our moral dilemmas, our friendships, our values and think about them deeply. They ask us to grieve the little pettinesses that we often give ourselves to and they ask us to be real in the face of characters who are sometimes braver and better or more terrified and terrible than we are.
ASP (like Peter Pan) often hits home especially hard for sophomores especially because the novel functions as a metaphor for the death of childhood, a death many of you are experiencing in the fullest sense of the word as sophomores.
I’ll also say that this is part of why I teach A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM as our required Shakespeare in this class rather than HAMLET–we need the relief and promise of something light and festive. You will also get to choose humorous books for your memoir literature circles, if you like.
Today is our last ASP seminar.
- Comments are DISABLED For third hour, who had lots of silences and spaces for people to jump in and the conversation took a lot of prompting from me.
- Comments are ENABLED for fifth hour.
Remember commenting on the blog is available for regular discussions, but for seminars it is a PRIVILEGE you earn by a super engaged, full, abundant seminar discussion.
Tomorrow is scheduled to be a reading day for LOOKING FOR ALASKA the “before” part.
Also a reminder because two students have gotten stuck in this trap: ACCEPTANCES GO TO YOUR EMAIL along with a note from me that talks about your more significant issues in the paper, when needed. You must, must, must ALWAYS check your EMAIL, not just the document. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again…and again…