September 03, 2008

The Big Read: Starting from Behind...

Let me just start off by saying that I've never read A Tale of Two Cities. I've never read a lot of things. Plus, I'm not the biggest fan of Dickens. Still, it's certainly a denizen of my lengthy list of Books I Ought to Read. Someone mentions it, I say, oh yeah, I should read that someday. But, in the famous words of Creedence Clearwater Revival, someday never comes.

Well, evidently today is my someday. I looked at Leila's blog post a few days ago and considered it idly, but what made me charge ahead was the fact that I'm currently at my mother's house, and, as a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, she owns just about every classic novel known to man, particularly if it was written in English, French, Spanish, or something obscure and medieval.

You'd think that I'd be much better read by now, having grown up in a house full of great written works. But when you're a kid, your priorities are different. I would often think, I can read these any time. Why bother doing it now? Every so often, I would pick one up from the shelf, a book I'd heard something cool about, attempt to begin reading it, and, several pages in, think to myself "augh!" and put it away again. This happened at age twelve with James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, thereby proving that just because you can read something, doesn't mean you should, or that you'll get anything out of it.

(Parenthetical aside--you might also think that, growing up with a literary mom, my becoming a writer was inevitable. Actually, though I always enjoyed writing, my early career interests seesawed from baseball player to stand-up comic to ballerina to fashion designer to, ultimately, artist. I did a lot of writing and art as a child, but for quite a while this seemed to manifest in the form of homemade magazines of dubious quality, like Young Cat and Doggie Vogue. Will post pictures one day--I promise.)

Anyway, that's a very long-winded way of saying that I think I ought to read A Tale of Two Cities. After all, my knowledge of classic literature, though fairly extensive on the theoretical level, is rather abysmal on the level of actually having read stuff. Beyond the high school required reading, one college-level freshman English class, and a few more lit classes for the grad degree, I've not taken all that many literature classes. I was an art major as an undergrad. Not so much literature. Lots and lots of dense, self-important, wordy art criticism.

Will post updates as I attempt to stay on track with the schedule.

Oh. And there won't be a toon tomorrow, since I'm at my mom's house and lack my usual set of drawing and computer-y tools, but I will post something. Links and stuff.


Fran Cannon Slayton said...

Hi - I'm hoping to reach you via email regarding your book reviews. Would you please email me at Fran at francannonslayton dot com ? Thanks! Fran

tanita✿davis said...

I am giggling madly at the idea of Doggie Vogue. Just sayin'