Persephone Books discussion

20th Century reading

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message 1: by SarahC (last edited May 27, 2009 06:19AM) (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 114 comments I was browsing through Persephone lately and it is like looking at buried treasure. I don't mean to sound too naive in saying that. My point is finding all this literature I never heard of -- especially in earlier school days.

I grew up and went to school in the U.S. Specific "big-name" classic authors stick in my mind (Mark Twain, Scott Fitzgerald, etc.) and I enjoyed them. But I just wonder what the literature curriculum in school and college was supposed to teach me. I never even remember suggestions of other literature to explore, especially that of the early part of the 20th century.

I just wondered how many other folks felt there is a void in formal literature education in exploring 20th century writing. (I also didn't have as many literature classes in higher education -- I was actually a history major, so mostly I was reading non-fiction, bios, memoirs, etc., so I wasn't coming from a full "lit" perspective either.) Just wondered if any of you had any thoughts on this. Do institutions teach a broader literature curriculum than before --as we move on into the 21st century?

Funny, I just remembered a lot of George Orwell -- really popular where I was in the 1980s because of the book 1984. Maybe curriculum got stuck exploring that for a while because of the relevance to the year. I never cared for it though, so I wasn't very edified with all that! ha ha

message 2: by Gina (new)

Gina | 320 comments Mod
I agree--where have these books been all our lives? :)
I had a similar experience in high school--we read a lot of the classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo & Juliet, Great Expectations, Animal Farm, etc. We really didn't cover a wide range of authors. I was a music major in college, so I did not get to take as many lit classes as I would have liked. However, I did take a short story class where I read Flannery O'Connor for the first time! I hadn't even heard of her until this class...sad...

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