Romanian Grace

The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

06 March, 2007

not to dwell too much on things future...

The ballots are in. We have decided on the literature and history curriculum for next year. All I can say is we have some very lucky students at Kingstone Academy. Get a load of this.

9th Grade book list

Song of Roland
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Confessions of St. Augustine
The Rule of St. Benedict
Canterbury Tales
The Bondage of the Will
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
Robin Hood
Saga of the Volsungs

I think we are in for a treat. Not that I have read about half of these and certainly not mastered any, but that will be about half the fun. We all get to read our little hineys off. What the heck is the Saga of the Volsungs? Whatever it is, at least one can sound smart if he casually throws out in conversation, "Yeah, I was reading the Saga of the Volsungs and...." This is going to be another dream year if the curriculum has anything to do with it.

And it only gets better when we turn our gaze to the 12th grade list:

Henry V
Richard II
Taming of the Shrew
Much Ado About Nothing

...and then 2nd semester...

War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
The Awakening - Kate Chopin
A Light in August - William Faulkner
Wise Blood - Flannery O'Connor
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Teaching a Stone to Talk - Annie Dillard
Bird By Bird - Anne Lamott
The Magnificent Defeat - Frederick Buechner
On Writing Well - William Zinsser
bunch of poems by T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, Frost, some other guys
short stories by Eudora Welty, Faulkner, O'Connor, Vonnegut

Incidentally, if someone asked me to give a list of my favorite books, many off the above list would qualify.

Wise Blood would be at the top, though it is one of the strangest novels I have read and I don't think I really get it. Flannery entrances me. She is the most real Christian author in the last 100 years, and I doubt a Christian has really written anything good since.

I like The Awakening, even though it is touted as a victory for feminism and dabbles in existentialism (I also like tossing out the word "existentialism" in casual conversation).

I think it is some kind of sin for a teacher to let a student through high school without reading a Faulkner novel. I have never read this one, so I am looking forward to it.

The Grapes of Wrath is one of those books that I always try to look astonished when someone says he hasn't read it. Even when I had not read it, if someone said he had not read it I would say, "You haven't read "The Grapes of Wrath"? They would usually look pretty sheepish, and they seldom returned the question, thankfully.

Maybe I will continue making myself sound smarter than I really am on another post, but for now I will have to go and so this semester's work.


At 7/3/07 01:26, Blogger Caleb Chancey said...

What?! YOU haven't read The Grapes of Wrath?!

At 7/3/07 22:59, Blogger b. smith wallace said...

I've always wondered about people who really see The Awakening as a feminist piece. It seems so utterly impotent for the protag to give up the way she does. Her suicidal "statement" is weak and leave no lasting change. I think it's rather subversive to the feminist culture, rather than supportive of it. I much prefer to discuss Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" as effective feminist writing.

I had to read Light in August alongside Absolom! Absolom! to really feel like I was sucking Faulknerian nectar. You might want to pick that one up too.

At 7/3/07 23:00, Blogger b. smith wallace said...

AAAAHHH!!! Subject-verb agreement. Blast! Wretch! Drat! Have grace...

At 8/3/07 17:50, Blogger IrelandRomania said...

Brandi, I DO forgive you for your unthinkable grammatical blunder. Both times I read the thing in college I did not really think the ending did much for the cause...but I think for an early feminist piece (1899 or so) she is starting to ask some important questions. Granted, I think she was drawing the wrong conclusions, but perhaps her view of children as insidious forces sprung from the fact that she was pregnant for something like 13 years straight.

And as for you, Mr. Chancey...of COURSE i've read it NOW. I mean...who hasn't?

At 29/3/07 00:39, Blogger dedalus said...

i mean, saga of the volsungs is amazing! the decline of the volsung clan in iceland - but it is long (my copy weighs in at over 400 pages). You may want to try to tackle the Nibelungenlied - a german saga that it is the basis for one of Wagner's symphony's. There is a penguin edition that is much shorter.

I love this blog - where else can I get Volsungs juxtaposed to Wiseblood?!?



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