Do you remember reading those curriculum books when you were in school? Do books like Diary of a Young Girl, Animal Farm, or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ring any bells? If so, what would you think if I was to say that what you understood about those books you read as a child will now be very different now as an adult?
image via pbs
Vivian Gornick’s new book, Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader, discusses this exactly. In her book, she writes how re-reading a book as an older woman has shown she has a different comprehension of a book’s subject, as well as its characters. How is this possible?
image via bbc
Gornick says that as an older woman, her perspective on previously read books has changed due to time, age, and shifting culture. So, when she re-read Son’s and Lovers, the theme of sexual passion was no longer what she was picking up. This makes a lot of sense, considering that as we get older, our views on things change (which could explain why we can identify with our parents when we’re older).
As Gornick talks more about the book, she says that she “had to grow into the reader for whom the book was written.” So, if it’s been a long time since you’ve read those books from elementary or middle school, trying picking them up again! Who knows what you’ll learn from them this time!
If you’re interested, of course.
featured image via saatchi art
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