Why most “literature” isn’t

Larry Correia has a wonderful post on what purports to be literature these days, and why he hates it. Not only am I so there, I’m wondering how many people had a similar experience with school English classes. It seems like everyone got hammered with books that sucked, craptastic “analysis”, and second-rate teachers who couldn’t imagine that a book might be written for a reason other than to hammer some kind of point home. Usually with a large sledgehammer repeatedly applied to the unfortunate reader’s skull.

I enjoyed some of the books – but I enjoyed them because I’d read them before they turned into required “literature”. I got to enjoy them – or not, and in several cases extremely not – without the “help” of inept dissection that left a bloody mess of what might have been an enjoyable story sitting on the desk.

Brave New World was a good one. 1984 was also good – although to this day I’m not sure which of the two is more chilling. Macbeth was fun, Romeo and Juliet less so, but hey, we had a blast with all the stuff Shakespeare wrote for the people in the cheap spots.

I’ve since gone and chased down quite a few of the classics myself, liked some, loathed others.

Of course, I’m the kind of avid reader who’ll read the toilet paper if there’s print on it, and devours a regular novel in a couple of hours, a goat-gagger in an evening. I’ve learned to my cost NEVER to open a book after 5pm – unless I want to spend the entire evening reading. And I really will read damn near anything. If I hate it, it’s BAD.

Which, alas, describes a LOT of what’s forced on kids in the name of “literature”.

Can we go after school boards for child abuse, please?


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