And in the fifth year . . . a miracle!

Today I went to the campus bookstore for the ritualistic pre-semester check of my book order, and–ZOMG!!!–all the books are ordered in the correct editions!  And almost all of them are in!

You’ll pardon my excitement, but this is the very first time this has happened.  It hasn’t always been the bookstore’s fault (one semester there was a cockup at the publisher’s end regarding a special bundle), but nevertheless: Every single semester there’s been something.  Until now.  I guess it really is a fresh start this year.

One slightly curious note: The bookstore had used copies available of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, both vols 1 & 2.  How is that even possible?  Who are the poor souls re-selling their Alan Moore comix?

A final point: I’ve started pulling the syllabus together and otherwise getting ready for my course on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and I realized one of the reasons I’m so excited: It’s been a Very Long Time, Indeed since I read some of these books.  It’s been at least 20 years since I read War of the Worlds or Invisible Man, and coming up on 30 years since I read 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  I’ve not read King Solomon’s Mines in 12 years.  Some of the material–Dracula, Jekyll/Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, She–is more familiar–but otherwise it’s like a fresh dose of youth serum.

(Between today’s post and yesterday’s, I sound pretty old, huh?  1971.)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to And in the fifth year . . . a miracle!

  1. rachel says:

    I’m going to be really interested in hearing how this class plays out. And I think you’ll find that the Wells, esp. IM, holds up extraordinarily well.

  2. jbj says:

    No more interested than I . . . !

    As with the cyberpunk class from a couple of years ago, the trick will be how to balance the fanboy aspect of the class with analysis, without killing the students’ interest.

    @Wells: I’ve taught/read *other* Wells more recently (The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Time Machine . . . ). But I’m pretty excited about IM.

    I still have a volume of collected Wells “scientific romances” that my parents gave me when I was around 12-13.

  3. rachel says:

    One of the great things about IM is how funny and pun-y it is. Lots of “I see nothing”s and
    “I’m an invisible man”
    “Well,anyone can see that.” etc.

    So much fun!! Sort of makes me lament having to teach Adam Bede this month.

  4. jbj says:

    Come on now: Nothing could really make one regret teaching Adam Bede! It’s funny!

    In fact, a key regret of the 2007-08 academic year is that it’ll be the first full year I’ve ever gone without teaching George Eliot. (But that’s what happens when my 2 400-level classes aren’t Victorian . . . )

  5. rachel says:

    Is Adam Bede funny? I can’t even remember. I’ve only finished my re-read of Great Expectations and discovered a curious thing: it is, in parts, unbearably boring. BUt the boring parts are not where Pip is ruminating about some issue, but rather where the plot is being advanced. Or so I think. Which makes it oppositely boring than most books.

  6. jbj says:

    Hi-larious. Mrs. Poyser? Funny.

    I’ve never had a class fail to love this book. Er, like it best. Um, hate it the least.

    But–they agree it is funny!

    And the key to Great Expectations is showing the South Park version. The plot is really quite close: They even preserve Miss Havisham’s army of flying robot monkeys . . . . (Which, you’ll remember, Bulwer Lytton asked Dickens to excise.)

  7. Middlemarch is very funny too–funnier, perhaps, than Adam Bede, since Mrs Poyser has to offset kind of a lot of sad stuff. But only rarely do students find the humour, at least on a first read. I think you have to be luxuriating in these novels to laugh at them (not rushing through them, which is what happens to students–and us–during a typical term).

  8. jbj says:

    I agree about Middlemarch; my sense is that students prefer Adam Bede (at least during the semester) because: 1) it’s so much shorter, and B) Eliot’s narrator is somewhat less multilayered in the earlier book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *