One of the things that I miss most about taking literature classes is the chance to enter into a dialogue with fellow readers about great literature. Most people think of reading as an isolated endeavour; a hunched and pathetic figure poring over a novel alone in a poorly lit room, but nothing could be further from the truth. Literature is meant to be discussed with friends, written about with scholastic colleagues, and debated vigorously with anyone that will listen. If you’ve never had the experience of reading a wonderful text and then critically discussing its various themes and motifs with a group of people then you’re missing out on a vital intellectual activity.
Here’s my proposal: If enough people display an interest in forming a blog-reading group, then I’ll suggest a couple of books from various genres and time periods of literature from which to read. We’ll pick a book, and then once a week we’ll discuss either the whole book, depending on length, or sections of our chosen text. For each text I’ll do a little research and kick off our conversations with a brief look at a sampling of critical commentary and a primer on our chosen text’s historical background to locate it temporally.
Interested? If so, let me know in the comments section of this post. If I get enough responses we’ll go ahead with this…if not, well, we’ll pretend I never mentioned this and I’ll try to shake off the embarrassment I feel because of my non-commenting audience.