Thursday, April 26, 2012

Discovering that I liked 'Literature'

If I ignore Physical Education where my teachers were very generous and gave  me a C for just showing up, English was my worst subject. It ensured that I did not get all A's.

I was bored in most classes but English used to be particularly difficult. I was constantly day dreaming and bewildered at how teachers and fellow students could keep finding and discussing ideas related to stories and novels. I think I was convinced that I did not understand literature. It was just not for me. I had to stick to mathematics and physics. So, it does feel very very good to come across Ian McEwan helping his son with an essay on his novel.

I am indebted to a fellow student at Northwestern who thought that I would like Outsider by Albert Camus. I am grateful to him because were it not for him, I may never have collected my most precious assets - the experience of reading great novels.

Over time I found that most of the books I liked were by European authors. The one book by an American author which I still love is Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, which obviously was not part of the school curriculum :)

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