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Topic: Classic Book Group Discussion May 18. "The Mill on the Floss." Join Us

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Subject: Classic Book Group Discussion May 18. "The Mill on the Floss." Join Us
Date Posted: 5/13/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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On Monday, May 18 we begin our discussion of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss. This classic is conveniently divided into seven "books." My copy is a Signet classic and is 596 pages. We will have three group discussions in which we cover 200 pages give or take.

The first discussion will cover books one "Boy and Girl" and two "School-Time.

And now, a word about spoilers.

Because this is a book discussion readers should feel free to talk about all aspects of the book including the ending in the last discussion. After all, this thread is a discussion about a book we have read rather than a book (pre)review in which we have to be careful not to reveal the story to those who haven't read it.

Having said that, for the first discussion, feel free to discuss anything about the book up to the end of book two because presumably everyone participating should know what's going on up to that point.

For voracious readers, by all means, read ahead if you wish, but keep the juicy parts we haven't  yet reached a secret and spill it all out in future discussions.

I finally got my brand new copy today. I love the smell of new books! Happy reading.

 



Last Edited on: 5/13/09 8:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 5/15/2009 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
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Well spoken, Laura.  Wow!  You're good at this!  Looking forward to the discussion.

Date Posted: 5/15/2009 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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After having read Middlemarch I just don't know if I can handle any other of Elliot's stuff. That was a total slog. Maybe if I hear lots of good things about this one, I'll give it a try...

Subject: C'mon, you know you want to...
Date Posted: 5/16/2009 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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That [Middlemarch] was a total slog

LOL, Derrick. I know what you mean.

Aren't most classic books a combination of slog and good things?

The trick with some classics is to find the parts that are satirical, shine a light on popular ridiculous social conventions, or are even risque for its time.  I imagine a book written in 1860 by a woman with a man's pen name is bound to do some of that. Well, I hope so anyway.

 



Last Edited on: 5/16/09 12:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/16/2009 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Well spoken, Laura.  Wow!  You're good at this

Thank you Vivian, I edited it 4 times for clarity and in the hopes I would not sound like a bossy cow.

Date Posted: 5/16/2009 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I loved Middlemarch!  I haven't started Mill yet.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get some serious reading done.

Date Posted: 5/16/2009 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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Aren't most classic books a combination of slog and good things?

Not in my opinion! I have yet to read a Dickens that I had to slog through :-)  Now I know that isn't everyone's experience.

The trick with some classics is to find the parts that are satirical, shine a light on popular ridiculous social conventions, or are even risque for its time.

So is this how you read classic lit? What if you read it just because it is a good story and you enjoy it?

Date Posted: 5/16/2009 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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So is this how you read classic lit?

Well, most of the time I do.  I can't help but not want to miss anything.

What if you read it just because it is a good story and you enjoy it?

Sure. To use Dickens as an example, I love A Christmas Carol at face value. There's nothing wrong with just reading for pleasure or "easy reading." There's, however, a lot more to A Christmas Carol, and if one knows his or her history one can find some interesting social commentary in it.

I don't always want to make classic lit into a study fest, but what makes it a classic usually is because there is so much "stuff" hidden between the lines, and I hate to put in the time to read hundreds of pages and miss anything juicy. 

When I dig deeper into a novel I am often rewarded with a much deeper appreciation and understanding of the work than had I just read it and took it at face value.

At any rate, I am not saying one approach to reading literature is "correct" or superior. We all have different needs when it comes to reading.

 



Last Edited on: 5/16/09 7:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1