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Pride and Prejudice (July 2016) > Spoiler-free Discussion!

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message 1: by Camille, Mil (last edited Jul 04, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Camille Dent (thecamillion) | 90 comments Mod
This month we are reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! This is a highly acclaimed classic, and one of the few female classic authors. At least in the US, most high schools teach this work for the British Literature course (usually taken within the last two years of high school). I, personally, have not read it, because I originally went to a private school. Private schools are not regulated by the state and are not required to participate in state testing here, so we read fewer books than the public school students. By the time I transferred to a public school, I already had credit for British Literature and could not take it again.

1) What do you think about the universal list of "classics" that currently exists (Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, etc...)?
2) Do you think that it feels complete, or are their authors that you believe deserve to be added to the list? Why?
3) In your schools, did you feel like your own state/country/region/society was represented well in required reading selections, or do you think that schools rely too much on teaching the traditional Western classic authors?

message 2: by Alexandra, Lexy (new)

Alexandra Pedro (alexandracpedro) | 78 comments Mod
Unfortunately, I can't say much about the universal list of classics, since I'm still starting to understand it myself.

About what I read in school, here in Portugal we only read portuguese authors in class (we can read others for the assignments we get!). I agree with only reading portuguese authors in school here since our language is so rich and I don't think we could get it as special as it is in our native authors from a translation. (I think it is probably true for every language!)
However, I think there are more recent books that could also be used instead of something from so long ago, with which not everyone can relate. I'm very happy with what I studied in school but I think more recent authors should be more explored in order to appeal other people.

message 3: by Camille, Mil (new)

Camille Dent (thecamillion) | 90 comments Mod
That's great that you read mostly Portuguese authors in school!! In American schools, we mostly study British classics, Greek/Roman mythology classics, and maybe a handful of other European and African authors. The only time I remember reading American authors was in the specific "American Literature" and short readings in "American history" courses."

I think it may be because America is so young compared to every other country, so we mostly read literature from the cultures that we came from (England, Greece, and Africa primarily).

I did not feel like American literature was very well-represented in my classes, to be honest. Because we only read small amounts of it, the reading selections focused on historical value instead of literary value. However, I am more curious about American literature and have started reading a lot more of American classics on my own now since I did not have much of it in school! So there were both pros and cons to it, I think!

message 4: by Alexandra, Lexy (new)

Alexandra Pedro (alexandracpedro) | 78 comments Mod
I agree with existing pros and cons in both reading a lot of native literature and reading a wide variety of others in school. I think in Portugal's case, our option is probably the best, but I can understand why doing it differently could be way better in some aspects. Hopefully there'll be a balance in each country based on its context!

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