May 07, 2014

Late Expectations

It has long been observed that youth is wasted on the young. Sometimes I wonder whether the reading of classics is too. When I was in school, I read some that eventually became favorites but seemed boring at the time. It wasn't till I re-read The Scarlet Letter as an adult that I realized how hilarious Hawthorne's opening chapter on working in the customhouse was.

Dickens' Great Expectations is another example of one I didn't fully appreciate until I revisited it as a grown up. Jack Murnighan, author of Beowulf at the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature's 50 Greatest Hits, hit the nail on the head:

The fact that everybody doesn't already realize that Great Expectations is one of the most delightful books of all time absolutely befuddles me--and is a testament to how badly we mishandle literary education. What should be a cherished favorite in everyone's library is too often squandered by being assigned to people who can't go alone to R-rated movies.
I'm not saying kids shouldn't read classics. But maybe they should contain a warning label saying something like "The contents of this book will seem way cooler in 15 years or so."

A PARTIAL WIN? WV Gov. Early Ray Tomblin partially restored funding for domestic violence legal services and early childhood programs. This is one of the top issues of the Our Children Our Future child poverty campaigns, although folks are trying to out what this really means.

SOMETHING ELSE TO DENY. That would be the latest climate change news.



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