After two years at this lovely institution, I've realized something startling: I've been reading a bunch of nonsense. Every English course I take gives me books that I've never heard of, written by people that I assume aren't famous for anything, let alone literature. Naturally, I asked myself, "Why should I read anything that I've never heard mentioned on television, or at the very least, Oprah's Book Club?
Professors, get it together. Nobody wants to read a book that was allegedly written by a Nobel Prize winner (or Laureates, as Wikipedia calls them). From what I understand, those things are just haphazardly handed out nowadays, since nobody can top Ernest Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Not that I want to read that either; I'd rather not die from boredom this year. People want to read good books, like the Harry Potter series, or the latest Dan Brown novel. I want to pick up a book filled with explosions, sex, drugs, and maybe, just maybe, some underlying metaphors for Christ.
When I think about why I don't enjoy reading books that are "challenging," I realize that I really just don't like books that aren't summarized that well on Wikipedia, or have Cliffsnotes pages. See, you can always tell how good a book is by glancing at the Cliffsnotes, as only the books worth reading have them. Simply put, if it hasn't been an episode of Wishbone, then we shouldn't be reading it.
Profs should also utilize the media more often, like movie adaptations or screenplays. I don't think anybody would have a problem reading the novelization of The Dark Knight, or Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Did you read that? The Legend of Ron Burgundy. I'm sure that if anything's considered to be legendary,then it is worthy of any type of "prestigious" award.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are some movies that are better as books than film. Let's look at The Wizard of Oz, where nobody's really sure what the hell's going on, and there are no awesome acid-trip graphics. Also, I've never seen The Passion of the Christ;I read the book.
Oh, and I'm sick and tired of reading poems that don't even rhyme. That's the whole point of poetry! Otherwise, it's just a shortened short story with seldom-used words. Everybody knows that the best poems rhyme. Take for example Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish, in which he demonstrates just how dedicated to the genre he is. If there isn't a rhyme for a word, he'll gladly make one up. And I'm not talking stupid made-up. I'm talking premium made-up. These are words that are both aesthetically pleasing, and fun to say out loud.
So, what should we be reading? I pondered this in my room for hours, putting aside my copy of Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland (what does that even mean?), and decided to put up my own list of must-read, "canonical" books. These are books that everyone can relate to, has heard of, and have been parodied on The Fairly Odd-Parents at least once.
1.) Scrooge: A classic tale of a man who wonders what life would be like if he had never been born. Wait. I think that was It's a Wonderful Life.
2.) It's a Wonderful Life: A classic tale of a man who wonders what life would be like if he had never been born. Presumably written by the late, great Geoffery Chaucer, and beautifully translated to the silver screen by Groucho Marx (probably).
3.) Robin Hood: The original Green Arrow story. I prefer the Disney version with the foxes, but I'm sure the Robin Williams one works well, too. I can't recall who wrote this, but judging by the time period, I assume it was Shakespeare.
4.) The Monorail Episode of The Simpsons: You prove to me that there's no cultural value in this. Conan O'Brien wrote it, so you know it's good.
5.) The Bourne Trilogy: Two words: Freaking. Awesome. Written and adapted by Matt Damon (I think).
Now that's a class-reading schedule. If I see that, you bet I'm taking that course, doing the reading every night (unlike what I do now).I know I'm not the only one when I say that the profs need to up their game, and provide us with worth-while literature, so, get to it!