I love old books! My favorite period is mid 1800s. My favorite genra is romance novels. But, I’ll happily read most anything from then. I love it because a Christian worldview is assumed. I feel like I can understand what they are talking about and the undertones of the writing better. I just finished Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables”. It’s not at all what you think of when you think “romance novel”, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. When I finish a really great story like that I heave a huge sigh and think about it all for the next couple days. I love remonessing the characters, and thinking about how the author accomplished their plot development. I always feel like a part of the story, even though I’ve only been looking on. That’s what great liturature does for you!
My hubby and I just went to Julius Caesar a couple weekends ago. It was student theater at my alma mater, and they did a fantastic job. They slightly changed the setting, and they switched genders to favor the more talented actresses with an effectual role, but they kept so true to the heart of the tale. The language and the plot, everything enflames my mind! I love the way I have to engage my intellect while listening. I love that I have to train myself to read between the lines of the character of Antony and Casius. And Brutus. My heart has so much in common with his! To think that these things that were written so long ago can have so much relevancy for today!
I recently read a blog post about reading that had a quote that stuck with me, “each generation knows only what it is told”. I have been mulling over this for weeks and the thought I have been having have caused me to question all that I thought I once knew about education. There is a weighty-ness to knowing that what we don’t repeat, either through spoken or written words, will never be thought of again by another generation. The books we let fall by the wayside, the thoughts we don’t mull over afresh, will just end.
It helps me to feel a little more sting of purpose in my writing. It helps me to appreciate what I am doing in undertaking to teach my children. It gives me a reason to choose wisely what I tell them.
Am I telling them what every other person in their generation knows? Or am I passing on a nugget of uniqueness from a bygone day that they will have the priviledge of handing to another? This is why I make sure I know well, not only the classic reading list, but the extras that may even have a measure of depth the others do not touch on. Of course I want my kids to know and love the Wuthering Heights and the Great Gatsbys of literature, but I also want them to have the chance to know and love the Tenant of Wildfell Halls and the House of the Seven Gables’. I want them to have the chance to fall in love with the stories that are not quite as common.
And I will make sure my daughter reads Villette someday. That one is a MUST!!