I am going to take a break from the political wars to discuss somethings that never get discussed at all. We are going to discuss books and society. This will be a different sort of post than the predictable types. Part of me is hoping the Editrix drops in and hits me with a Thunderbolt or two.
1) What books do you remember as assigned school work reading that you remember vividly and fondly?
Lord of the Flies, 1984, Animal Farm, The Hairy Ape of Mice and Men.
2) Are there any classics that you wished was assigned, but did not get in a classroom setting
Moby Dick, Last of the Mohicans and the Tempest
3) Can a book be too long
Yes, I gave up on Les Mis after an eighty page rambling description of the convent.
4) Should certain books be removed from the curriculum because they are considered by some to be offensive?
No, I actually learned the Canterbury Tales and some Shakespeare in a Yeshiva setting. The notion of a complete education without those works would have been incomplete. The bigotry was more or less a product of its era.
5) Should certain books be restructured or edited to take out offensive passages.
No, but taking out the quips about Jews in Shakespeare except in the Merchants of Venice would not alter the substance. I prefer to leave the books unaltered and leave it to the readers.
6) Should the emphasis in education be geared towards a more enjoyable experience for the reader?
I think the love of a good book is something that is lost by lit snobs. The reading of certain books is just a chore in college. Perhaps, the reason I enjoyed the Hairy Ape so much was the heated
discussions in class.
Still, I think that educators should be more flexible with their readings. Let the students chose what section they want by listing what books will be assigned rather than standardization. Those that like certain books can seek out an intro class that will offer Eugene O'Neil vs another that will focus on the Greek Classics.
7) Does the movie ever live up to the book?
Not in my experience
8) Has a movie ever inspired you to read the book?
9) What are your thoughts about Broadway plays on Film?
When it is done well it is a way to preserve the masters who created the role like Yul Brenner in
The King and I. Fidler on the Roof was shot with Topol. The film should have had loudmouth political moron Zero Mostell. It would have captured the essence of the play better.
I do know that some of Neil Simon's work did very well on the silver screen. I saw Lost in Yonkers on Broadway and had no desire to see it on film.
10) Do we spend too much time reading news articles and not enough with great books?
I think more of us need to hit the news stand more. I do like googles News feature that allows me to scan the news quickly. I spend far more time with periodicals than great books.
Lets see your responses. The first loon that proposes banning Moby Dick for whaling gets the honorary Mr B Daisy Cutter award for stupidity.