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raisedbyignorance
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14 Feb 2011, 4:10 pm

When I was high school and college...I thought I was easily one of those dorky girls who would be into Jane Austen novels and British literature...

...until I took the actual British Lit courses...

What a nightmare! Instead of reading books I thought would provide me an escape, I was reading complex jibber-jabber with very little plot that I had to write critical essays for just about every single class period. I mean they all turn out to have the same themes don't they: if you weren't a rich white man in 1800s England, you were screwed: the end!

Needless to say I dropped out of the classes or left with a D or an F in grades.

Harry Potter books were easier for me to read, not because they were juvenile, but because they had a freakin plot! It wasn't a bunch of people just talking back and forth or a bunch of politically-themed jargon. The latter I hate even more. I could never get through a single George Orwell book except for Animal Farm only because I enjoyed the concept of talking animals but even when I read it, I still couldn't get what the hell was going on until I saw the original animated film.

For a lot of these cases, I DO have to see the film before I read the book. There's no way I can read something without getting the right image in my head and read the book as if I was playing a movie in my head. But if I am reading a book and have no idea who the characters are or what the hell is going on, I am screwed. I can read the whole book but that doesn't mean I will get what I am reading.

Is this an Asperger's thing because I have no problem with reading. I DO have a problem with reading and not being able to analyze what it is I'm reading in my own head.



MidlifeAspie
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14 Feb 2011, 4:25 pm

I got my BA in English Literature and can't stand Harry Potter books. The spectrum contains vast diversity :D


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Janissy
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14 Feb 2011, 4:52 pm

I was undone by Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. I am a native English speaker and can understand some Spanish passably. I am familiar with some common French, German and Italian phrases that authors use in otherwise all-English books (like "capice" or "c'est la vie"). For less common phrases I can Google and figure out from context. But Eco wrote entire paragraphs in a variety of languages and I got utterly lost. Just when I was starting to figure out the plot, he would suddenly switch to French or Italian or German or Latin or Greek and continue on in one of those languages. By the time he lapsed back into English, different characters were involved and I had no idea what had just happened. At one point two pages were written in programming language. That was it. I stopped the book in the middle- something I have never done before or since- and swore to never read Umberto Eco ever again, no matter how great the reviews were,.



Janissy
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14 Feb 2011, 4:53 pm

raisedbyignorance wrote:
. I mean they all turn out to have the same themes don't they: if you weren't a rich white man in 1800s England, you were screwed: the end!

.


I love this!



buryuntime
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14 Feb 2011, 4:57 pm

Read Charles Dickens.

I do not understand the appeal for jane austen or the bronte sisters.



Laz
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14 Feb 2011, 5:01 pm

Quote:
I do not understand the appeal for jane austen


QFT x 10,000


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14 Feb 2011, 5:32 pm

No different than claiming you want to be a star athlete, going to the gym once, then giving up because your muscles got sore.

The more you challenge your mind, the more adept it becomes. Some things you read because its enjoyable, some things you read to expand your comprehension and your world view. That expansion takes effort. Try reading Joseph Campbell's 'The Masks of God' or Blavatsky's 'Secret Doctrine' without nodding off by page three. But if you keep reading and re-reading, paragraph by paragraph, until it starts to sink in, it will get easier and faster and make more and more sense. By the end of Volume 1, it'll be as easy as reading a cereal box, and at that point its much more enjoyable. But you have to force that muscle between your ears to work harder and get stronger, unless you're content to be just another run of the mill human.


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MidlifeAspie
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14 Feb 2011, 5:45 pm

Avengilante wrote:
No different than claiming you want to be a star athlete, going to the gym once, then giving up because your muscles got sore.

The more you challenge your mind, the more adept it becomes. Some things you read because its enjoyable, some things you read to expand your comprehension and your world view. That expansion takes effort. Try reading Joseph Campbell's 'The Masks of God' or Blavatsky's 'Secret Doctrine' without nodding off by page three. But if you keep reading and re-reading, paragraph by paragraph, until it starts to sink in, it will get easier and faster and make more and more sense. By the end of Volume 1, it'll be as easy as reading a cereal box, and at that point its much more enjoyable. But you have to force that muscle between your ears to work harder and get stronger, unless you're content to be just another run of the mill human.


This is a very good point. These books were not placed in the Canon because they are boring or have no plot. When studying literature, plot is of tertiary importance at best.


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Severus
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14 Feb 2011, 5:56 pm

There are books that are just boring but I don't think that one should give up so easily. Some books need an acqired taste.
I have one book that I have never, ever been able to read - Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. I've tried to read it at least dozen times and it bores me stiff at page 5. Don't know why.
I don't like Dumas' stuff too, father and son are equally boring to me. One great big yawn.



Simonono
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14 Feb 2011, 6:02 pm

I struggle through a lot of books. I mean, absolutely love imagining the settings, and they inspire me to draw them, but I have to read through some parts multiple times to understand some of the plot. Sometimes I never really understand the plot fully, but I try to as best as I can.



nemorosa
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14 Feb 2011, 8:17 pm

Reading should be a pleasure. If the book is too difficult, put it down. Do not read something just because it is a "classic" or you feel that you should. You are reading for yourself and nobody else. I definitely wouldn't agree that reading should be an effort.

I've noticed that as I get older my tastes have developed. I can't really say better, but different. For instance, I never would have read Haruki Murakami when in my teens or twenties.



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14 Feb 2011, 8:21 pm

Laz wrote:
Quote:
I do not understand the appeal for jane austen


QFT x 10,000


and 1


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Moog
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14 Feb 2011, 8:22 pm

nemorosa wrote:
Reading should be a pleasure. If the book is too difficult, put it down. Do not read something just because it is a "classic" or you feel that you should. You are reading for yourself and nobody else. I definitely wouldn't agree that reading should be an effort.


Depends on what you're reading for.

Obviously there must be some kind of 'reward' to the reading, but it needn't necessarily be pleasure.


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wblastyn
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14 Feb 2011, 8:49 pm

Janissy wrote:
raisedbyignorance wrote:
. I mean they all turn out to have the same themes don't they: if you weren't a rich white man in 1800s England, you were screwed: the end!

.


I love this!

I felt the same way about the Old Testament - disobey God and you're screwed, rise and repeat.

I found the LoTR trilogy really boring, I had to stop half way through the second book. Loved the films though.



BenAcel
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14 Feb 2011, 9:35 pm

raisedbyignorance wrote:
When I was high school and college...I thought I was easily one of those dorky girls who would be into Jane Austen novels and British literature...

...until I took the actual British Lit courses...

What a nightmare! Instead of reading books I thought would provide me an escape, I was reading complex jibber-jabber with very little plot that I had to write critical essays for just about every single class period. I mean they all turn out to have the same themes don't they: if you weren't a rich white man in 1800s England, you were screwed: the end!

Needless to say I dropped out of the classes or left with a D or an F in grades.

Harry Potter books were easier for me to read, not because they were juvenile, but because they had a freakin plot! It wasn't a bunch of people just talking back and forth or a bunch of politically-themed jargon. The latter I hate even more. I could never get through a single George Orwell book except for Animal Farm only because I enjoyed the concept of talking animals but even when I read it, I still couldn't get what the hell was going on until I saw the original animated film.

For a lot of these cases, I DO have to see the film before I read the book. There's no way I can read something without getting the right image in my head and read the book as if I was playing a movie in my head. But if I am reading a book and have no idea who the characters are or what the hell is going on, I am screwed. I can read the whole book but that doesn't mean I will get what I am reading.

Is this an Asperger's thing because I have no problem with reading. I DO have a problem with reading and not being able to analyze what it is I'm reading in my own head.


I know some books are hard to read. I had some trouble with some books as well.

We all need to go at our own pace.