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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Re-reading the classics

One of my best friends just left her job as an attorney and became a high school English teacher. She is teaching the classics, so we had a long talk about our favorites. Every one always talks about how much they hate Charles Dickens. Well, being paid by the word certainly doesn't lend itself to short stories. However, I remember loving A Tale of Two Cities. I have never forgotten the first paragraph:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

What is your favorite classic?


Anonymous said...

Dickens is one of my favorite authors. But I don’t know if I’d recommend his work for high school, in part because the books are generally very long (and in part because I was a slacker in HS). Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House are two of the best. I had seen an excellent BBC adaptation of Our Mutual Friend that originally spurred me to read it. As to your question: Vanity Fair and Three Musketeers are also in the favorites category.

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