Monday, May 5, 2014

Reading the Fantastic

My suggestion for an addition to this syllabus is The Hobbit (no surprise there!). While I have found all of the books we read very interesting and fun to read, I did think that they were too much all of the same type of adventure (either vertical/mountain climbing or horizontal/sea voyages). I think that reading fantastical fiction such as The Hobbit would open up the question of "what makes adventure?" The Hobbit still addresses that idea of "what man can endure" (as we recently discussed with Pym). Instead of "what do mountains do?" we could ask "what do dragons (or any fantastical monster) do?" Reading this after a book involving a mountain climbing expedition could help develop the answer to this question, as I think the mountains and the dragons actually end up playing quite similar roles.  Also, The Hobbit adds a new dimension to the discussion as it is clearly fiction. Given this, I think that it would also provide an interesting element to the discussion of "fiction" versus "non-fiction." Lastly, it's just a great book, so why not!

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