martes, 23 de febrero de 2016

MercatorNet ► Summer reading. Scalia's family life.

Carolyn Moynihan has written a very interesting review of the state of undergraduate summer reading. It appears that old stuff (ie, stuff before 1950) does not kindle the inner flame of younger readers. 
I know that I should be appalled, but the best I can do is feel guilty. My mind goes back to that distant planet on which I lived as an undergraduate and my reading list of 18th century novels. No one in the 18th century felt good about himself unless his novel was at least 800 pages in very small print. Reading one of these a week was such a chore that I skipped most of them and read the Cliff Notes versions instead. 
To soothe my conscience, which has been smarting ever since, I recently read The Castle of Otranto, the one 18th century novel which was 100 pages long. I can see why it was a literary sensation in the drawing rooms of Europe. With a deranged count, a virtuous mother, a father killing his daughter, a son finding his long-lost father, a royal daughter smitten by a handsome peasant, supernatural visions, and aged monks, it could have been a slapstick comedy directed by Mel Brooks, or a very bad Stephen King novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
The lesson of this is very simple. Not all of those old books are boring. Give them a go. 

Michael Cook
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