Junior and I were talking about our comparative reading requirements for High School...
"Hey D...', I asked as I was driving along, hand delivering him to school. "Guess what I had to read in year seven English?" (Year seven being the NSW equivalent of the old form one, and Year Twelve being my 'UE')
Answer? Wind in the Willows. I can still remember it. Having watched it over several years, with the littlies, I know Exactly how it goes. Not that I ever read past chapter two, as I was fortunate to have been chosen to do the book review on those two chapters. I was probably away with the fairies when the other girls were reading their reviews, so I missed most of it, as I recall.
Junior was hooting in the passenger seat at the very thought of Wind in the Willows. I actually thought it was a good allegorical tale. On the dangers of something that I cannot remember two days down the track. The dangers of an addictive personality maybe? Or maybe what happens when you bunk school (ha ha). But it's my birthday today, so who cares?
What else was I forced to read? In year eight (second form) it was Flambards... Oh my .... Plus something entitled Pigman? A group of teenagers befriended an loner, in between meeting at the cemetary at midnight? Apparently It was supposed to be a third form reader. Not bad, as I recall.
In Third form (commonly known as tird form) I think we might have started Shakespeare... We had to read Macbeth for Fourth form... I repeated fourth form, so I got to read it twice. Plus watch the movie of Macbeth in Japaneses with English subtitles, and actors dressed in Samurai dress. Oh dear.
When I finally got to Fifth form, which was now year 11, we did Hamlet. Other girls were reading interesting things like The Loved Ones, by Evelyn Waugh, so after the exams, at the end of the year, we were allowed to take books from the resource room and read in the front grounds, reserved for Seniors only. So, I read the Loved Ones, or am I wring, and it's actually only the Loved One?
Plus Midsummer Nights Dream. That I enjoyed, because as part of the 'In Group', I was required to watch all the old classics, usually shown at about 4am on Saturday mornings. So, apart from Coconuts, actually a Marx Bros stage play that was filmed one night in 1929, I had seen Midsummer Night's Dream with Joe E. Brown, and others.
That's where I got the idea for the book title, above!
I recall falling off my chair watching the modern version with Callista Flockart, much to my English Student daughter...
My last boyfriend before hubby had told me I should read Catch 22. Junior is reading it at present.
He also recommended Merry-Go-Round in the Sea, by Randolph Stow if I recall correctly. Set in broome, WA, and all about Taoism, or Tao (pronounced Dow from memory...) Apparently the Merry-go-round in the sea, (which isn't,) represents a Mandala. I recall one part of the book where he is asleep in the loungeroom and there is an air-raid. The adults put him under the coffee table while they choof off to safety and when he wakes he thinks he is in a coffin. I know the feeling... Unfortunately I do not do first-person narrative well.
Got to year 12, and had to read Othello (gross), The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea, and Persuasion, by Jane Austen, of all things. Plus the poetic works of W H Auden and Les Murray, cousin of Miss Murray, ex principal of one of the Kids' schools. The Bunyah Bard. Now, why couldn't I have been like the A class, with Gerard not-so-Manly Hopkins? ("But girls, can't you see the heavy sexual overtones?") Thoughts of Modern Euphemisms come back to haunt me. Plus the vice-captain, my best friend and bridesmaid. I had to read what her crowd was reading too. Flaubert mostly. Blerk.
Got lots of Evelyn Waugh for my 21st Birthday! One of my favourite authors, although Brideshead Revisited was hard to get into, and hard to get out of! (The middle bit was fine, the first and last was Flash Back.)
When I moved to dear New Zealand, the Library became my hidey-hole. The Librarian complimented me on my choice of reading material... So good came out of it, I suppose.
But what shall I call my book?
Mind you, I have now been read over 8000 times. Maybe I can be called an Uber Blogger?
The mind Bloggles.
Other related posts:
Where can a mother go to resign?
And you thought my life was weird...
What they don't tell you in the ads...
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