In the style of my seminar final project (a sneak peek of which is up on my blog), I’ve decided to title this one “not-discussed-in-class” post “The Art of Words.” Can you guess what it’s gonna be about? Can you?
Although we briefly discussed poetry in class months ago, the one thing I felt we didn’t talk about enough was literature. Writing is one of my absolute favorite things in the world, and studying literature is the other half to the equation of my happiness. After all, reading makes a person a better writer, and I’ve learned a lot of skills and lessons from my favorite books. Even more, I think literature is something incredibly important, and something more people should start actively exploring. A humanities degree is often looked down upon, and while I’ll confess I’m double majoring with my second major in something more “profitable,” I don’t regret for one bit having invested so much of my time into English.
As a matter of fact, it’s proved more worthwhile than a ton of the other things I’ve learned over the years, although that’s understandably a matter of taste. I can’t remember a single formula from chemistry in sophomore year, bit I still remember many intricacies from reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth in my European literature class.
In my junior and senior years, I took AP English classes that ended up being some of the best experiences of my life. In junior year I read, among others, The Great Gatsby, and Fitzgerald’s effortless way of describing love, loss, and the sparkle of the 1920s is still something I hold in high regard. My senior year, however, was arguably the year I developed my writing the most. All our assignments were far more creative, and the final project was a “senior portrait” that answered the question: What have you learned in all your 18 years of living? It was one of the hardest things to write, but the introspection was something I desperately needed to learn how to convey into words.
I’m sidetracking a little.
Anyways, the realm of literature is something spectacular because the best writers find ways to transport you to faraway worlds and still keep you grounded in reliability. Take Shakespeare for example again; his plays are nearly 400 years old, but they still depict universal themes. We’ve seen a hundred different takes on Romeo and Juliet that still tell the same story: boy meets girl, they fall in love, a horrible misunderstanding happens, and they both die. Most recently, I read Juliet Immortal, a version of the story in which neither Romeo nor Juliet actually died; instead, their spirits lived on after Romeo killed Juliet for immortality. It was definitely an original take that I enjoyed reading. I’ve yet to buy the sequel; should probably get on that…
To end this post, which I know has gone on for a little too long, I want to recommend some of my favorite books for the rest of you. (List below, taken from my blog.) They range from the classics to mainstream favorites; from teen paranormal romances to the first year assigned reading. I hope you read at least one of them and get back to me, because I’d love to hear what any of you think.