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April 18, 2006

Stephenson, Diamond Age 3 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

As I began writing this blog, I had an entire entry typed out about some bull crap about the book and Stephenson's style of writing; however, as I was finished and reading over it, I noticed once again how bad I am at bullsh*tting things. So, I'm stepping out of the box and doing what I've been brought up to do: Say what I think.

I disliked Stephenson's Diamond Age . I felt like I was stuck in thick brush full of unnecessary description and details trying to find my way to the opening where the plot and action would finally begin. I wasn't necessarily confused by the book, but was unable to stay focused long enough to get some sort of meaning out of it. I've never been able to read something I dislike, and I feared reading this novel would be the same way.

Now I'm not at all trying to be rude or out of line, but I feel this book is an unfair assignment. A 500 page science fiction novel, I feel, is a bit unreasonable to assign to an Intro. to Literary Study class. I know I'm no expert on literature and teaching, but there are some really great novels out there that could have replaced this one that more students could relate to. Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451", J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye", just to name a few. Even Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" or George Orwell's "1984" are great science fiction novels that aren't solely about technolgy, but bring other aspects into play as well, so the reader doesn't necessarily have be interested in that genre in order to enjoy the book. I feel us reading a novel about technology is a bit unfair because the professor is interested in that field. I love the author Nicholas Sparks and feel that it would be like me being a professor teaching literature study and assigning a sappy romance novel for the class to read. I wish something more neutral was assigned.

I apologize if I'm offending anyone because that is not my intention at all. Dr. Jerz, I am in no way trying to berate you. Choosing what the class reads is totally up to you and I realize that, I guess I'm just suggesting another work for future Intro. to Literary Study classes. I think this novel would work great in a technology-related literature class that talked about utopian societies and the theme of modern technoloy in literature. I'm happy for all of you who were able to get meaning out of it and envy your ability to do so in this novel. Like I said before, I have a very difficult time staying focused with a book I dislike, but I assure you I am working on that flaw of mine. I apologize for not having some wonderful insight about this novel, but am interested in what everyone else has to say tomorrow in class.

Posted by AmandaNichols at April 18, 2006 11:29 PM

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