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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:28 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
What I find interesting about these posts on childhood reading is the question of the extent to which our childhood reading experiences have shaped our adult tastes.

I've often considered this question myself. It's not exactly pertinent to that point, but I wonder now whether my dislike for Alice has somehow grown from childhood experience. It's hard to see exactly how that could have happened, considering I didn't read it until my mid-twenties, but I was aware of it as a child. I suspect the reason it wasn't read to me is that my mother, who was the bedtime story reader, didn't like it any more than I do now, though I don't believe I was aware of that at the time. Perhaps her dislike of the book has somehow been transferred to me. I loved Winnie-the-Pooh and could see the attraction of The Wind in the Willows in spite of Mr Toad being a bit of a tool, but there was something about Alice, something I still can't divine exactly, that put me off.


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always felt there was something strange about "Alice in Wonderland" as a child.  I was aware of Lewis Carroll's academic background and I  believed that there was another intellectual level to the book which I couldn't grasp. This annoyed me.

Also, Alice shrinking and going down the rabbit hold made me feel claustrophobic.

Later on in life when I read about the Carroll/Alice relationship and all the speculation about it this put me  off the book even more.

However, since reading the book to my son, I've really come to enjoy it.
I love the Tenniel illustrations and I find episodes, such as the Mad Hatter's tea party, amusing.

This is one example where I've completely revised my opinion of a book.


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Evie
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I would *love* to be a child again.  I don't think I have ever been happy in adulthood, and even as a child I had my problems, but I long for that world of the early 1970s, before I went to secondary school in 1975.  (That was when the rot set in!)  I hate being an adult, despite the freedoms and independence - too much of both, for me.  But being a child, even in a vaguely unhappy home, was better than anything I have experienced since.

Having moved back almost a year ago to the town where I spent those years, I find the nostalgia almost unbearable.  Maybe reading some of those books again would help!  Though moving to New Zealand might help more...   Very Happy

I do think my childhood reading shaped my adult reading.  I still love books about people's lives and thoughts more than those about story and plot and action.  Even though I loved some fantasy works then, I loved them because of the characters in them, and the way they seemed to fire my social and intellectual as well as imaginative aspirations.  Fantasy even then had to be rooted in human life - no interest in imaginary creatures or aliens of any kind, then or now.

The books I sought out were the ones that created a world I wanted to inhabit, and while my reading is broader than that now, that is still something at the core of my favourite books.  I now read sometimes to appreciate literary inventiveness for its own sake, which was not something I was consciously aware of as a pre-12-year old, which is when I read all the books I have listed.  I also read to challenge myself and broaden my interests and mindset, and to see what human beings are capable of in terms of artistry.  But the books I *love* rather than admire are those that have that same impact as my favourite childhood reads - that sense of giving me something to aspire to, of connecting with my inner longings about my own life and future, of being about people I can connect with at some fairly deep level.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't want to go back to childhood. I recall far more unhappiness from that period than I've had in my adult life - though I can't say I endured any great hardships really.

I'm not sure how much my childhood reading informs my adult preferences - I went through a whole period, maybe 3 or 4 years, of hardly reading at all, and also read a lot of factual books rather than fiction. But I think the joy of flexing the imagination, enjoying the magic of language, and exploring other people's perspectives are the common thread between my pleasure in childhood and adult reading.



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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering - when readers have imagined spending time with these fictional characters - are you again a child or as you are now? Or some strange amalgam of both.


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Evie
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, that was definitely an issue in my choice - I was very much thinking about who I would like to spend time with now.  As a child, I might have chosen differently (Harry Potter wasn't around when I was a child, though!).


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure my imagination stretches that far, Mike! At least, not with Winnie-the-Pooh or things like that. I can place myself more easily in the world of Harry Potter because the characters look like humans (mostly). I imagine myself as a student there. When I was 16 I had round glasses and looked like Harry Potter, so I imagine there might be some hilarious confusions to be enjoyed. I've just done some tests and apparently I'm in Ravenclaw.



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