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    It's good to get experience a wider range of writing styles so reading 'em wouldn't hurt. At the same time, as long as you do what's on your course, that should suffice, especially at A level.
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    You're choosing english. You're going to have to read some classics - you'll probably be forced to as part of your syllabus anyway. Nothing wrong with classics - except for 'Tess of the D'urbervilles'. That ***** can die.
    I can live with 'Tess' but keep me well away from 'Vanity Fair'. I hate that book with a vengeance!

    Actually it's a bit stupid as classics refers to hundreds of different books by hundreds of different authors about hundreds of different subjects and which cannot possibly all be lumped into one area and despised.

    I have about 6 feet of shelving filled with classics which I have read umpteen times for pleasure.
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    You probably don't have to bother at A level. Read what you enjoy, but try new things as you might enjoy it. Not reading classics doesn't detract anything; however reading them adds immensely.
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    (Original post by jinglepupskye)
    You know that is why they talk about the 'dumbing down' of education.

    Instead of opening your eyes to a variety of books you simply read the set texts and never actually become educated at all.

    But you get an A grade and therefore you kid yourself that you are an academic!
    Some cowardly scumbag has negged me for this post. They were too illiterate to leave a message, so God alone knows why. Perhaps they need to look up the definition of forum as a place to express opinions?

    I hope the idiot gets crushed by a shelf full of classics next time they visit the library. Moron.
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    (Original post by jinglepupskye)
    I can live with 'Tess' but keep me well away from 'Vanity Fair'. I hate that book with a vengeance!

    Actually it's a bit stupid as classics refers to hundreds of different books by hundreds of different authors about hundreds of different subjects and which cannot possibly all be lumped into one area and despised.

    I have about 6 feet of shelving filled with classics which I have read umpteen times for pleasure.
    I completely agree, and I would go even further. Whatever you do like to read is often aspiring to be a classic itself, or is heavily influenced by the classics. I will refer to classics properly now: what you read and are taught is usually from the Anglo-American canon.

    I prefer to think of a classic in terms of Penguins classics, which cover almost every genre out there, and to suggest you do not like reading a classic in this context essentially means you do not like reading. I would then question why you are taking an A level in English literature.
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    I read the classics because I love them, and now pretty much hate everything published after 1950.
    That said, some are just horrendous - I really don't enjoy Ibsen, and the less said about Dickens, the better. Oh, and Wordsworth is pretty dire too.
    As someone above me says, reading them adds so much. Not only to context, but to knowledge and everything else.
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    Its good to have a working knowledge of the greats of English literature and those who have shaped writing for many years to come; Dickens, Shakespeare, Austen, the Bronte sisters etc.
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    (Original post by La Esmerelda)
    Its good to have a working knowledge of the greats of English literature and those who have shaped writing for many years to come; Dickens, Shakespeare, Austen, the Bronte sisters etc.
    The Bronte sisters are revolutionary?

    Not in my books!
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    (Original post by A-Man!)
    The Bronte sisters are revolutionary?

    Not in my books!
    Nor in mine, I didn't appreciate their books much but most people hold them in high regard.
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    It's curious. I would always twitter anxiously about how I've never read the classics for pleasure (I had a nightmare moment when an English teacher helping me prepare for interview reeled of a list of have-you-reads and I answered no to each of them, shrinking in on myself a little each time), but, come Oxford interview, I was in a room opposite a girl who twittered anxiously that she rarely read anything contemporary for pleasure!

    There are a couple I like, and I'm getting in to them more and more, but honestly? Don't stress. So long as you're considering what's coming off the page, you'll be developing and honing your analytical skills.

    I know some people who really enjoyed reading the classics when they were younger - I personally, can't see how they could have enjoyed them for anything more than the story. It took me an age to get through P&P when I was thirteen, and I think I'd only get the nuances if I reread it NOW with a bit more experience and knowledge under my belt.
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    (Original post by Chaiteafairy)
    It's curious. I would always twitter anxiously about how I've never read the classics for pleasure (I had a nightmare moment when an English teacher helping me prepare for interview reeled of a list of have-you-reads and I answered no to each of them, shrinking in on myself a little each time), but, come Oxford interview, I was in a room opposite a girl who twittered anxiously that she rarely read anything contemporary for pleasure!

    There are a couple I like, and I'm getting in to them more and more, but honestly? Don't stress. So long as you're considering what's coming off the page, you'll be developing and honing your analytical skills.

    I know some people who really enjoyed reading the classics when they were younger - I personally, can't see how they could have enjoyed them for anything more than the story. It took me an age to get through P&P when I was thirteen, and I think I'd only get the nuances if I reread it NOW with a bit more experience and knowledge under my belt.

    Thank you :-)
    You really put my mind at ease!
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    :3 I'm glad! Always good to be of help!
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    If you are just studying English for A Level, I don't think you should have too. Just reading the set texts and getting a good understanding of them is good enough.

    However, if you want to study English as a degree, I imagine it is expected that you read some of the well known classics so you gain some extra knowledge and understanding and can reference wider reading into the work that you do on your course.

    I know that one of my A level teachers gave us all a long list of recommended reading. The majority of my class didn't bother and still came out with respectable grades, so I really wouldn't worry. However, I've slowly been getting through the list and reading some of the classics featured as I know it will help when it comes to my degree.
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    (Original post by A-Man!)
    I read the classics because I love them, and now pretty much hate everything published after 1950.
    That said, some are just horrendous - I really don't enjoy Ibsen, and the less said about Dickens, the better. Oh, and Wordsworth is pretty dire too.
    As someone above me says, reading them adds so much. Not only to context, but to knowledge and everything else.
    Oh, and Wordsworth is pretty dire too <<
    Haha, I have to disagree!
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    (Original post by A-Man!)
    I read the classics because I love them, and now pretty much hate everything published after 1950.
    That said, some are just horrendous - I really don't enjoy Ibsen, and the less said about Dickens, the better. Oh, and Wordsworth is pretty dire too.
    Wordsworth, ick, ick, ick. Not only is his poetry ridiculous but he accepted a government job in later life = not a revolutionary.

    My dislike of Wordsworth aside, if you aren't planning to do English at uni then I would just concentrate on getting through the exam, theres no point in putting yourself under extra pressure to read something you don't enjoy. Contextual reading is helpful, but I certainly wouldn't have said it was essential for A-level.
 
 
 
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