We are coming to the end of the school year. It might not seem that way because it’s still April, but the last day of school is June 15. Graduation is June 5th, Senior exam week is the previous week, and because Seniors can be exempt from exams, their last day is May 25. AND! because we’re about to enter into the weeks of AP tests and state-wide tests (NONE of which I have to prepare for this year–mine were back in January) I have a few classes I only see 10 more times this school year. And teach almost exclusively Seniors. So…
Anyway, we read every class in my class. They recently added 10 minutes to the school day because of missed snow days and I just added that time directly to SSR (self-selected reading)…this all gave me more time to read myself. I decided to pick up this copy of David Copperfield, which has 61 chapters, and read one chapter per class period. This means a couple of things. I am moving steadily but slowly. I am not getting bogged down or bored or distracted and so even though I am only reading 25-50 pages per day, I am hitting that mark without getting overwhelmed or feeling like I should be making more progress.
The other effect is seeing the book tied a little to its serialized roots. It’s interesting to see it this way. To understand better the role of chapter titles. To see the uniformity of the structure of the chapters (Harry Potter books’ chapters are perfectly plotted, by the way), and to leave the book behind with some time passing.
So I read Oliver Twist last year, and I hated it. I have previously loved (Great Expectations) and hated Dickens (Hard Times), and while I don’t know that I love this one, I really do like it, and more so, think it’s very good. The writing is crisp, the dialog makes great sense, and I feel a lot of sympathy for poor David.
Whelp, this project fell through. Nothing wrong with the novel itself, but splitting the book into its 60 chapters spaced out as it was left this displaced and detached for me.