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An Education.

September 29, 2010

Part of being an un-enrolled student (or so I have recently identified myself) is having the drive to be self educated.   It has come to my attention that the only way I will ever keep up with my self awarded title of a “well read individual” is to go out of my way to read the classics for myself.   There is no longer a summer reading list, AP literature class or independent reading.  The demand that I must be reading a book at all times has been lifted.

As empowering as I am sure many un-enrolled students must find this, I have found it to be unnerving.   Thus I have set out on a quest to find a list of the classics and devour it.  A few google searches later I found myself at the Penguin Classics website, where the top 10 classics are clearly outlined.  They have decided that the top 10 classics are:

1. Of Mice and Men (J. Steinbeck)

2. Jane Eyre (C. Bronte)

3. Pride and Prejudice (J. Austen

4. The Odyssey (Homer)

5. Hamlet (W. Shakespeare)

6. Moby-Dick (H. Melville)

7. Metamorphosis (Kafka)

8. Oedipus Rex (Sophocles)

9. Walden (Thoreau)

10. Inferno (Dante)

How many of these have you read?  Be honest, are you anywhere near completing the top 10 novels of all time?

I am halfway through this list, but here in-lies the problem- I don’t actually want to go through the trouble of reading all of them!  Mark  Twain sums up my feelings perfectly: “A classic is something everybody wants to have read, but no one wants to read.”   I go down the list of the remaining novels that I have not read.  I give up.  Maybe a romance novel?  Yes, thats the ticket.  I need to find the best romance novel ever written.  Oh wait, I’ve already read Pride and Prejudice.  And almost all of Jane Austen’s novels for that matter.  Back to square one.

I would like to think that I will never be anything but “well read”, but I must confess that I have found that title to be much harder to earn than I had originally anticipated.  As much as I love to read, I want to read things that are interesting to me-not just stories that have had an impact on history.  I don’t particularly care for futuristic novels, sci-fi, or anything evil.  That just about rules out every book on the market.  I love having read books like Brave New World and Frankenstein, but being “un-enrolled” is proving to be a much more difficult motivator than my wonderful AP Literature teacher.


From → Austen, Gap Year Life

One Comment
  1. aFriend permalink

    oh Ms. Daniels :O

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