I'm actually not planning to ask anyone to read anything, just to come and hear a bit about the author and their work and to listen to whatever bit I find worth reading to them in my reading of the novels. I suppose the point will be something like the point of Fadiman's or Burt's introductions, to try to make them interested in trying the books for themselves.
I'll also try to talk about film versions where possible. When I finish Bleak House, I want to watch the BBC series with Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock. I enjoyed some BBC version of Jane Eyre, and the one of P&P. One reason for doing The Dead, apart from just not wanting to reread Portrait of the Artist is that Jonathan Franzen said in an interview that there's a really excellent film of it; I hope I can find that online.
I like Vanity Fair, but may pass it by for the length of it. I'll see; it's been ten years since I last read it.
I might use this as an excuse to finally read Robinson Crusoe. Otherwise, I'll just skip the 18th century.
I may choose some Woolf that I haven't read yet, and I'll be quoting from A Room of One's Own when talking about Austen, the Bronte's and George Eliot.
I will also talk about some of the things that might make these novels difficult for people reading English as a second language. This Chadham bastard in Bleak House talks about the terewth. I imagine that, without a footnote, even some native English speakers would fail to read that as truth.
I'll have to see how much interest there is in this. See if people will come. But I figure I need to have five or six classes ready before starting. Perhaps more. Anyway, as I said, I've picked up a class in the hour I had thought of doing it.
Ah, by the way, Franzen find Forster the most overrated author.
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