Sunday, August 18, 2013

CC Meme - August 2013

Do you read forewords/notes that precede many classics?  Does it help you or hurt you in your enjoyment/understanding of the work?

I never read the forwards of novels until after I have finsished (or decided to abandon) the novel. The only exception is that I read any front matter that was written by the author. The scholars who write those learned introductions seem to have no scruples at all about spoiling the story. When I write about books, even classics, I try not to give away so much about the story that it will interfere with someone else's first reading of the book.  In college I dutifully read the introductions and discovered this problem. The completeness of introductions did help me out in junior high school though. I was able to pass the test on The Red Badge of Courage having read only the introduction and the first chapter. (I hated that book!) I do find that the introductions to classics are often interesting and are a good way to focus my thoughts about a book I have just read.

This is the August monthly meme question from the Classics Club.

1 comment:

  1. I'm the same as you -- I never read intros etc. until I am finished the book. I like to go in "blind" as it were, only knowing the basics and leaving room for discovery.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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