Monday, January 25, 2010

World Literature

I'm taking a world literature class at the local community college this semester. I tend to be a bit narrow in my reading, and I want to expand my horizons. Sure, I could pick a random book from the library and do this, but I do better with a structured class environment, at least as a jumping off point. Now that I am no longer forced to take classes to obtain a piece of paper that says I can finish what I start, I can learn anything. I can pick a subject that interests me, take a class, and when the class is over have basic knowledge with which to run with and learn more. In this class, I foresee myself finding authors from various countries who I enjoy, then finding more of their work to read on my own.

The assignment for this week was to read 2 short stories by Indian authors - "Pigeons at Daybreak by Anita Desai and "Dhowli" by Mahasweta Devi. I was more interested in "Dhowli" than the other, story-wise, though I enjoyed Desai's style of writing. I think I will seek out more writing from both authors to add to my ever growing list of "Books to Read Before I Die." (One of these days I'll type it up and post it on here so you can all make more suggestions.

In other news, I am greatly enjoying the online urban fantasy critique group I started and moderate. I received some extremely helpful feedback from my first submission, and helped me to see things that desperately needed to be changed or cut, but I was unable to see myself. I loved the crazy uncle character too much to realize he was extraneous to the story, and really needed to go. All he did was add confusion. So he has been cut, some things have been simplified, others expanded upon. That's how it goes. Now I need to make time to review the comments I received on my second submission. I should get to that this weekend sometime.

The Zen Writing Group meets Saturday, so if not before, definitely then I'll get to the edits. I am very much looking forward to that.


Centenial College said...

Good! Reading is a very good hobby that everyone must keep. You get to learn a lot of valuable things from literature. Once developed an interest for reading, no one can distract you furthermore.
Community College

laurie said...

what a great idea for a class. can i recommend a couple? anything by Rohinton Mistry. he lives in Canada now, but his books are set in his native India. they are spectacular.

"Tales from Firozsha Baag" is his collection of stories; might be a good place for you to begin, see if you like his style.

also, a terrific book that came out last year called "i do not come to you by chance," set in Nigeria.

enjoy the class!

Jennifer K. Sights said...

Thanks for the recommendations Laurie! And thanks for checking out my blog! (a new one will be live on Monday.) I'll add those to my list of books to read.