Part of what you'll be learning is how to read the older styles of lit. By learning to read, I mean literally learning how folks read the older lit, and--in the process--you'll learn to slow down, read slowly, read less at a sitting, and discuss what you read. Read my explanation about mass communication to Terrence for an explanation of why most folks read differently after 1830 than before. The short version is that printed material got cheaper after the 1830s. There was more of it around, and folks began reading more like we do today after the 1830s.
Finally, you'll find I don't expect you to enjoy everything we read or even act like you do. Like learning how to enjoy good wine or beer, part of what we'll be learning is how to enjoy the good stuff in the older lit. However, just like some wine will never be to one person's taste, while someone else will love it the first time they drink it, you'll like some of the lit and hate some of it. It's a matter of taste, and all I expect is that you taste, try, and--as you said in your introduction--keep an open mind. Sometimes it takes multiple tastes or the right presentation for you to learn to enjoy something you've disliked for a long time.
In any event, I am here to help; so, write with questions and comments.
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Associate Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221[hidden email]
Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)
On Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 10:54 PM, Amy Wildonger [via General Assembly Online Discussion Forum, ENG 241, Spring 2011] <[hidden email]>
My name is Amy Wildonger. I am from Orlando, Florida and have lived in Richmond for two years now. I came here because of a job transfer. I am on an Allied Health track here at JSRCC. Once I get all of my pre-req's done I plan to apply to Nursing programs here in Richmond and in Florida. I work full time, go to school full time, and have no children. I enjoy reading and writing so I am trying to enter this class with an open mind cause the "thee, thou, and thy" part of Literature is exhausting to me and that is all I can think of when I think about this class. Thank goodness I am open minded!!! :)
I can do little about the "thee, thou, and thy" part of the literature. The good thing is that these forms of address were weeded out of most of the American dialects of English by the 1800s, and I've designed the class to move backward through time, so we'll be starting with the Romantics (1820-1870), which came after the "thee, thou, and thy" bit. So, the first kind of literature we read won't seem too foreign.