Studying plays in a class setting was not an improvement. I don't know if my teacher Miss Magee just really loved Romeo and Juliet, or if my memory has become a bit faulty, but it feels like we spent at least half the year on the play. Each day she'd assign students in the class different roles and we'd have to read through the play, line by line. Somehow, the football players didn't pull off an engaging Romeo. After we finally finished reading the play, we spent several classes watching the movie.
I found the entire thing very asinine. So when I wasn't reading a role, I was secretly flipping through my English text for distraction. And there, at the far back of the book, I found a gem. I started reading this story called Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Right from the opening, when Pip is accosted by the escaped convict, I was hooked. I adored the gorgeous and distant Estella as well, but my favorite character was Miss Havisham. I've always had a thing for eccentric characters. Some things never change.
Black walnut maple cake I made (not to be confused with Miss Havisham's wedding cake).
I had read other classics prior to Great Expectations, and I would find others in high school that were magical too (like Lost Horizon and Of Human Bondage) but this one stands out in my mind as one of my absolute favorites. I've never returned to it to read again, as there are so many books that I want to read that I don't feel I have time to reread anything. Plus, I worry that it might not be as extraordinary as it was the first time around. I don't want to ruin that initial wonder.
So I'm taking a vote. Readers, if you say that I should take the risk and reread what I think of as my first truly beloved classic (26 years later!), I will do so. It will be on my reading list for 2016. But it seems risky. What do you think?
Anyone else love Great Expectations?