September 14, 2011

Road Trip Pit Stop With My Pals Milli & Vanilli

So since today is Wednesday, I would normally be taking part in YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday 'blog carnival'. Since I don't have my own stack of WIPs or craptastic former attempts at writing, I don't really have anything to contribute to that conversation. I feel like a total novice, and entirely inexperienced at this. I only have my current WIP, which incidently finally has a title ('bout time!).

Anyhoo...speaking of things that make me feel a little like Milli Vanilli...(AKA an imposter*).

For a while now I have been thinking about all of the major works of fiction that I have never actually read. We're talking books that any academic (not that I'd give myself this label) worth his/her salt has read at some point.  Books that a former English teacher (read: me) should probably have encountered in her schooling. Works so collectively revered that I am even ashamed to mention them here.

Blame it on the rain, blame it on the teachers I had, blame it on whatever... The following is a list of books - many of which I actually own (!) - but have never gotten around to reading, or started reading but never finished:
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Catcher In the Rye
  • 1984
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Brave New World
  • The Giver
  • Romeo & Juliet (I know! Crazy, right?)
  • Wuthering Heights (I'll never read it because I already know the story and hate it - I'd take Charlotte any day over Emily)
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Moby Dick
  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Tom Sawyer
  • The Wind In the Willows
  • Return of the King
  • Utopia
  • The Iliad & The Odyssey
  • Beowulf
  • ...and a whole slew of others of varying importance and/or renown
I do plan on remedying this at some point in the future (well, most of it anyway - still won't touch Wuthering Heights). I keep planning on slipping in a classic every so often between the YA books I'm so addicted to. We'll see how that goes... Having thoroughly laid bare my ignorance of such popular books, I should also mention that for every one of the above mentioned works, I have read at least 2 or 3 others of arguably equal importance or influence. For me, one of my greatest reading accomplishments was getting all the way through The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (if you've ever read or even attempted to read this book, you'll understand what I mean by 'accomplishment' - I feel like I should get an award for slogging through all of the Romantic ramblings and swooning in its pages). I've also read Shakespeare plays not commonly on the syllabus of many courses (like Titus Andronicus - pure crap, but worth the read just for a laugh). I've read Bronte (Charlotte), Austen, Dickens, Alcott, Conrad, Gaskell, Tolkien, Lewis, Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Marlowe, and many others whose works I'd consider fairly influential. 

Why do I mention this? I don't bring it up because I feel I'm owed a pat on the back or something. I mention this because even though I often get down on myself for not being as well-read as some, or not being as experienced at writing as others, I still have something to offer. I have a unique set of experiences, whether gleaned through reading or just life in general, all of which I can bring to the table and hopefully share with others in my own writing.

"Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them."
- Henry David Thoreau

*Rebecca Behrens has a good post about self-doubt  and Milli Vanilli AKA Imposter Syndrome

1 comment:

  1. You are not an imposter. You are a writer, and definitely with something to offer. I enjoy reading your posts!

    And at one time, I had only one story. And I still have some of those same books that I would love to read, should read, but still haven't found time to read.

    Love the Thoreau quote, btw. :)

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