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Victorian Literature is boring!!!

Discussion in 'Literature' started by SomeRandom, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    So I find that a lot of young people, when they start out reading the “grown up classics” on their own tend to start out with the usual suspects from the Victorian era. Myself included. Dickens, Wilde, the Brontes, maybe even Lord Byron or Poe.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like Victorian lit, for the most part.
    (Wilde is forever my BAE.)
    But there’s a certain stiffness there, that is not that prominent in other eras. Even previous ones. The language is very formal or philosophical/academic or both.The storyline is more often than not, the excuse, not the reason. The tangents sometimes seem more like random university lectures. Of course, there is something to be said for the “art of conversation” featured in some titles. But a lot of the time, it often seems dreary. Dickens is more often than not overtly depressing, Wurthering Heights is dark and moody, Poe tends to be gloomy (though that’s understandable) the Brontes seem to be either dark or catty. (I get the impression Charlotte didn’t care for Jane Austen as an author.)
    Sherlock can be fun, I suppose. So can a lot of the early sci fi. Like Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.
    But I kind of found it more fun to go through the various artistic movements before the Victorians. Reading Candide by Voltaire for example was actually a lot easier for me after a lot of the Victorians. Maybe my vocabulary just expanded, or I was just a little more “seasoned” by then. But it just seemed easier to read than some of the Victorians.
    Thoughts? Comments? Reading recommendations?
    And bonus question, participating in the readathon thingy affectionately dubbed “Victober?” I’m going to bust out some Sleepy Hollow stories myself.
     
    #1 SomeRandom, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  2. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    No Carmilla or Dracula?
     
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  3. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I think most young people are better off reading youth oriented literature. Some of the Victorians can be considered youth oriented, but many cannot. It's best to save some books for when you have reached an age that you can understand them.
     
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  4. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Yup.

    Accessibility of the text is a major consideration.
    Of course, the OP makes an interesting observation in that reading less accessible texts might help train us in some ways.

    But it's a fine line. If it's too difficult (for whatever reason) then so be it. I read Ivanhoe in its original form when I was quite young. I should have enjoyed it, but I just had to focus too much on the words, and lost the narrative thread.
     
  5. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Well, I agree with you. But there is something to be said for challenging yourself as well.
    I remember when the YA (online) community really took off. And I was like 16 or 17. So I also happened to be reading YA at the time.
    It was actually really interesting to see my peers, some of them even younger than I was, specifically compile lists of “beginner classics” that spoke of or connected with youth centred topics. (Mostly Victorian literature, coincidently.)
    It was almost like a rite of passage among young readers. Well I always read whatever the hell I felt like, but there were young voices specifically extolling the virtues of the classics that spoke to them. As young people, as burgeoning adults, as people.
    Wurthering Heights was among the favourites, as was Jane Austen for a lot of young women.
    There are classics that were written by “young people” and spoke of topics that were pertinent to them.
     
  6. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    I think it's more of just the reader. I started reading adult fiction in 5th grade (I was pretty much done with YA by the time I was done with middle school). I didn't understand everything, but I understood it well enough.
     
  7. j1i

    j1i Smiling is charity without giving money

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    I enjoy reading the adventures of Sinbad, who is not looking for power or leadership, only I find in his biography the love of searching and knowledge

    Arab culture is as liberal and non-conservative as Western
    But also Western literature contains a lot of interesting compositions that are well established in my mind
    Charles dickens, Sherlock Holmes and other literature that I read as a child
     
  8. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Oh Sinbad I need to pick that up.
    Arab culture depends on the time period I find. Though 1001 Arabian Nights is certainly err “liberal.”
     
  9. j1i

    j1i Smiling is charity without giving money

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    hahaha sorry may i got missunderstand
    Ibn_Battuta advernture
    and
    Long John Silver - Wikipedia
     
  10. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Does someone have to be part of the realm to be considered Victorian?
    This side of the pond we had Twain, who's anything but stiff, or formal, or boring,
     
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  11. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Was about to ask if he counted, myself.
     
  12. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    I think Mark Twain is just his own thing and is just Mark Twain. Not many people know who Samuel Clemens is, but everybody knows who Mark Twain is.
     
  13. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Twain is Twain
     
  14. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    A split personality!?:eek:
     
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  15. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy Gothic literature (I know, you'd never have guessed) but not much else from the Victorian era.

    Personally, I don't find the language to be an issue but that might be because I've read and enjoyed books with far more archaic language.* My major complaint is the tendency to dedicate a lot of space to fairly trivial details. As much as I like Dracula, you could cut out a sizeable chunk of it by removing the flattery that the main cast heap upon each other.

    *Howard Pyle's books on King Arthur for example, which actually came out shortly after Queen Victoria's death. I'll give a brief snippet from The Story of King Arthur and his Knights to give you an idea of what they're like:

     
  16. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Omg the tedium is real!!!
    I did find myself saying “get on with it” when reading a Victorian classic a lot lol
     
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  17. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    I can certainly sympathise with you there! Even in the books I like, there are plenty of instances where I thought, "I get it. You've made your point, underlined it and thoroughly explained it. Please can we get on with the story."
     
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