Books & Comics

Books & Comics
Lanah Tyra's avatar

We were forced to read The Metamorphosis in school and I absolutely hated it. Definitely not something teenagers would appreciate or understand. It also makes it very hard that lots of our book translations were awful. So even if the original book would have been fine, the translation might have made it unenjoyable.

Not sure how is it in other countries but we were given a long list of mandatory reading during the school year and over summer holidays too, then first thing back was to have a test about them to make sure you indeed read them.

I think literature classes should be about making you love reading, but we all enjoy different genres. It's all good to learn about important writers and their works but forcing kids to read something they don't like is actually harmful. I think they should offer a big selection if books and let you pick from them. Would also provide a better discussion next class who read what and why did they choose it?

Alex Sinclair's avatar

Ouch, I would not have enjoyed reading Metamorphosis in school (although we had a lot of Jane Austin and Shakespeare which didn't particularly appeal either). Metamorphosis certainly isn't my favourite Kafka story. I'm not a huge Kafka fan, but I've got a friend who is, and he despises Metamorphosis. So I wouldn't let that experience put you off Kafka completely. I like what you say about literature classes instilling a love of reading. I actually think that should be the purpose of 90% of pre-college education. An understanding of how atoms work isn't doing anyone a great service in their day to day lives, but if it can instil a love of learning and a fascination with science, that's a different story.

Lanah Tyra's avatar

Totally agree! I loved our science teacher, even though he had to teach the mandatory stuff, he found a way to do it via fun experiments where he messed up things on purpose to keep us engaged and eventually someone would volunteer to do it for him. I wish I had more teachers like that. Our literature teacher almost made me hate reading. There were a few years where I refused to touch books due to all the things they made us read which was not interesting for me.

I love Shakespeare because I love drama and theatre but I agree on Jane Austin.

Sturmer's avatar


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Makster's avatar

I've only read Kafka on the Shore but Murakami is supposed to be Kafka-esque in which case I did enjoy it a lot

Alex Sinclair's avatar

I've read a few Kafka novels and a lot of Murakami (including Kafka on the Shore), it's an interesting comparison and not one that I've thought about before. Murakami is a lot more accessible than Kafka. I find Murakami's books to be real page-turners, whereas I had to force myself through Kafka. But I can also see similarities in their labyrinthian magical realism; both mix the mundane and the fantastical, and both authors want their readers to never be certain about what's real.


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