High School Revisited
Well, not really, but I had an interesting revelation the other night. Anyone who knows me reasonably well knows that my favorite author is Robertson Davies; in the past few weeks, I've been re-reading all my collection, probably as a bit of a security blanket in this period of late pregnancy fidgets. I have to admit here, though, that my favorite trilogy is NOT the Deptford, but rather the much campier Salterton (in my defense, my favorite book is The Cunning Man, which I think "ranks" with the Deptford Trilogy, or so at least I've read). The first book of the Deptford is Fifth Business, much ballyhooed as Davies' finest work, etc.; it is also the book I was forced to dissect in Grade 13 English. While I understand *why* this was on the curriculum, I'm here to affirm that there is no faster way to make a teenager loathe a book than to make him or her pick it apart and write essays on it and have to tease out the "right" interpretation. In all fairness, my teacher was actually really good, and she certainly wasn't a fascist about how we approached a book, but it was just TOO much to ever make me like the book as pleasure reading.
However! I have worked my way through most of my treasured Davies collection, leaving Fifth Business and its siblings until near the end, almost dreading it, really, but determined to give it another try. Imagine my shock when I fetched up at chapter 5 or 6 the other night and realized how much enjoyment I had garnered from the last umpteen pages. How did this happen? I guess the point of this post is to encourage anyone to go back and re-read some of the books that were foisted on you in high school, and see what you think with a decade plus remove. You might be pleasantly surprised.
The Salterton Trilogy is still my favorite though. And I need to get back my Samuel Marchbanks Omnibus from a friend before my "confinement".
by at October 29, 2006 9:20 PM
The Salterton is hands down my favourite trilogy too.
Posted by: Jen on October 30, 2006 9:10 AM