Month: July 2010

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Posted July 28, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic / 0 Comments

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper LeeTitle: To Kill A Mockingbird (Goodreads)
Author: Harper Lee
Published: Harper Collins, 1960
Pages: 323
Genres: Classic
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

To celebrate 50 years of publication this month, The newly formed Literary Exploration Book Club decided to read Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird. The book has been described as a southern gothic novel which gave the book a certain appeal to me and was one of the main reasons I decided to read this book. What I found left me a little disappointed.  To begin with, I found the book didn’t start to get interesting till chapter 11. I know the back story was needed, it was a different time, but I didn’t much care for the childhood of Jean Louise, Jem or even Boo. To me it felt like it dragged on and could have used some cutting down, but some people like to hear about life in the 1930’s. When I did eventually get to chapter 11, I did start to enjoy the book a lot more and finally at chapter 17 we started to get into the real story of To Kill A Mockingbird; The Court Case.

Atticus was the only truly enjoyable character for me.  He was a wise and fair man, though he never wanted to take Tom Robinson case he did his upmost to make sure he was treated fairly and got the best representation possible. Atticus was the shining light throughout this book; he was a scholar and gentlemen through thick and thin. Once the court case was over and Atticus no longer had to deal with Tim Robinson the book again went back to its original slow pace and eventually fizzled out.

The book wasn’t all bad, it was well written and tackled some important topics, including racial injustice, class and even sexuality. I can see why this is a classic book and I think Harper Lee did a fantastic job at shedding light on some important social issues, the story just felt to slow for my liking, but I can understand why so many people enjoy this book.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Posted July 21, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic / 0 Comments

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldTitle: The Great Gatsby (Goodreads)
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published: Scribner, 1925
Pages: 184
Genres: Classic
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

One of the most interesting aspects of The Great Gatsby is the Point of View. I don’t think I’ve read a book in the point of view of an onlooker, which was written as well as this F. Scott Fitzgerald classic. The book does a decent job at shedding light on the egotistical, desire driven tendencies of human nature. Nick Carraway tells the story of a group of destructive personalities. Carraway starts out starry eyed towards high society but slowly becomes more and more uncomfortable with the unrestrained materialism and lack of morality that comes with it.

F. Scott Fitzgerald paints a unique literary picture of the time and life style, with interesting, snooty and slightly annoying characters. Everyone seems so self absorbed and never think of each other; which helped drive the story beautifully. The book is very familiar to the movie, though the book is far superior. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Posted July 19, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic / 3 Comments

The Stranger by Albert CamusTitle: The Stranger (Goodreads)
Author: Albert Camus
Translator: Matthew Ward
Published: Knopf Doubleday, 1942
Pages: 123
Genres: Classic
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

L’Étranger, known as The Outsider, or The Stranger by Albert Camus offers an interesting perspective of the philosophical movement; existentialism. Though, as a stand alone novel, it was very simple and uneventful. You need to read this book for its philosophical merit or not read it at all. Previously, I wrote a post about this book and The Cure song Killing An Arab, in which I talked about how the book covered topics like; absurdism, atheism, determinism, existentialism, nihilism, and stoicism.

I thought I needed to read the book and try to understand the connections. The book does an interesting job at covering this issues without being too noticeable. Sure, if you spend your time digesting or picking apart books, you are sure to notice it, but if you are reading the book just for the story, then you may miss the complexity of the story.

It is unusual to read a book that has a complexity to it, but still tells the story too simply. It might have lost some of its density when translated from French to English. I just look for more substance in my books, so I was a little disappointed.

Best of the Past Six Months

Posted July 1, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Writing / 0 Comments

Six months ago I started Knowledge Lost, though it wasn’t called that till later. I started this blog as a way to try and explain concepts and things that I had been learning. It was a real change for me; originally I didn’t have an interest in art, culture, literature and philosophy. I had an interest in writing and music; so when I started this I was lost a little, I wanted to try and make sense of what I had been learning, so the blog emerged.  I combined previous blogs about my writing and what I had been reading to create this blog. I was very luck to find some readers and commenters really quickly which has helped me immensely along the way. Knowledge Lost took off really well, and I’ve managed to get well over 5,000 views (over 110 posts) in this period and readership appears to be growing. I hope this blog has been enjoyable for the readers as much as it has been for me.

I wanted to take the time to share with you the top 10 posts so far and my favourite ten.

Top Ten Most Popular Posts so Far

10. Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States

9. Spirituality and The Arts

8. Did Pop Culture Destroy Literature?

7. Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

6. Adjectives and Adverbs

5. René Magritte’s The Lovers

4. Nec Spe, Nec Metu (Without Hope, Without Fear)

3. Does That Sentence Flow?

2. Evolution of the English Language

1. On Writing

My Favourites so Far

10. Trying to Understand Existentialism

9. Twin Peaks and Dream Interpretations

8. Killing An Arab

7. René Magritte’s The Lovers

6. The Medium is The Message

5. Poetic Shock

4. Evolution of the English Language

3. Disarm a Modern Frankenstein Story

2. Did Pop Culture Destroy Literature?

1. Nec Spe, Nec Metu (Without Hope, Without Fear)

I would love to know your favourite posts so far and if you have any feedback or suggestions for this blog please feel free to let me know here.