For Dr. Carens’ Gothic literature class this week, we are reading “Great Expectations” by Dickens. As I read, every time one of the character refers to the “Great Expectations” I stop and ponder. The book is taking longer than usual to read because of my frequent pit-stops into dreamland; I allow myself to wander, and each time I have come to the end thought that the book is exceeding my greatest expectations. The reason is that I have a mental reading list of all the “greats” aka, the canon as I now understand it to be. Throughout this semster, I keep encountering in my various classes texts from my shopping list of books, and am continually amazed. I am tracing my astonishment with these moments when I feel excited that a book has thrilled me past my “expectations,” and realize that I have pre-conceived ideas about the canon. Sometimes I get so hung up on reading and experiencing a text simply for the fact that I would like to mentally check the book off my list…(I realize that these aspects are my very driven personality that I am tweaking) and this semester I have allowed myself the freedom to not enjoy a book, or disagree with someone. I know that sounds funny, but I have always tried very hard to keep an open mind. A pet peeve of mine is a “like” or “dislike” person = aka, someone who gets really excited when they like something, but can’t apply themselves to the difficult, challenging, or mundane. I believe that a person truly seeking wisdom and intelligence will be aware that some of the most beautiful, rewarding, and educating moments in life are tasks or events that don’t strike us as “fun” or something we would particularly enjoy engaging our time in. So, I realize that every time my blogs end up as a “like,” I am giving myself the freedom to forfeit that book, say Vanity Fair, which I have read half of 6 times now – for a text that may be a better use of my time in terms of growth, inspiration, or simply getting to know authors of which I have little experience.
Life can often times be a game of effort-to-result-ratio.
Back to Dickens, and more later I suppose.