I sharpened my pencils and arranged my notebooks, ready to tackle, for the first time in over 20 years, what I considered the biggest literary bore in the history of mankind. I’m not exaggerating when I say I got goose bumps just thinking about that book resting threateningly on my desk… it reminded me of the long afternoons back in high school when they made us read famous excerpts over and over while they repeated to us ad nauseam that tiresome, incomprehensible work was a great source of pride for Italy.
Dr. Ottavia Salina refers to Dante’s Divine Comedy
From The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi
This passage cracked me up and reminded me of my high school days. That’s pretty much the same impresion I had of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I can’t even remember the story now but every time I hear that title I think back on my sophomore year and for the first time dreading reading class. I really didn’t like that book.
In my senior year I decided to impress my French teacher and read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I liked it a bit better but to be honest I have never picked up another Hemingway novel. I probably shouldn’t admit that but there you have it. Funny how sometimes those first impressions really do carry forward.
Any of you have less than fond memories of books read while in school? And, have you changed your mind about the author or book?