I loathed English class in high school.
Not to be mean, I did however have a few fantastic English teachers.
English class in college was terrible too though.
My rub was that, although I enjoyed reading, the English teachers were always telling you what to think.
I mean, come on.
I love reading.
And I love the fact that a favorite book can take on a whole new meaning, a whole new life, when you read it again a decade later.
For example: You read C.S. Lewis as a child and it’s one story.
As an adult, it is a much different one.
But in English class, they never let a book just be about the book, about the story, about the joy of reading.
It was always: “What was the author really trying to say.”
“How does this relate to the politics of the time.”
“How does this compare to the writer’s childhood.”
Good grief, let a story be a story.
And quit trying to tell me what to think when I read one.
“Personally, I’m not much for symbolism. I never get it. Why can’t things be just as they are? I never thought to psychoanalyze Seymour Glass or sought to break down “Desolation Row.” I just wanted to get lost, become one with somewhere else, slip a wreath on a steeple top solely because I wished it.”
–Patti Smith, M Train
Also published on Medium.