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Rereadings (2005)

por Anne Fadiman (Editor)

Outros autores: Katherine Ashenburg (Contribuidor), Sven Birkerts (Contribuidor), Allegra Goodman (Contribuidor), Vivian Gornick (Contribuidor), Patricia Hampl (Contribuidor)12 mais, Pico Iyer (Contribuidor), Jamie James (Contribuidor), Diana Kappel-Smith (Contribuidor), Arthur Krystal (Contribuidor), Phillip Lopate (Contribuidor), David Michaelis (Contribuidor), David Samuels (Contribuidor), Luc Sante (Contribuidor), Vijay Seshadri (Contribuidor), Barbara Sjoholm (Contribuidor), Evelyn Toynton (Contribuidor), Michael Upchurch (Contribuidor)

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Answering the question "is a book the same the second time around?" this collection of essays includes contributions from Sven Krkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante, among others.
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The subtitle "Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love" aptly describes the essay collection edited by Anne Fadiman (author of Ex Libris . None of these essays are by her).

Although all are well-written, a few essays were winning; some left me "meh", and some I'm sure I've already forgotten. Still, this is about books and the love of reading. Except for the essay by David Michaelis about the Beatles' Sgt Pepper album (shrugs). ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Sep 6, 2017 |
As most serious readers have discovered, rereading a book (including a favorite from a younger age) can be an enlightening experience -- and sometimes, a disappointing one. That's because it's not "the same book" the second or third time around. There's an old saying that "You don't read a book; the book reads you." And so, a reader's reactions to a given work of fiction depends on what he/she brings to the reading of it -- including age and life experiences.

The idea behind Anne Fadiman's "Rereadings" is intriguing. Seventeen contributors (chiefly published authors themselves) "revisit books they love" -- reflecting on their early reactions, as compared to their more mature ones. The works explored range widely in nature and accessibility. Among the best-known classics are "Pride and Prejudice" (explored by Allegra Goodman), "Lord Jim" (considered by Jamie James), and "Brideshead Revisited" (by Evelyn Toynton). Others will be known to very few readers (such as Katherine Mansfield's "Journal" and "Letters," and Collette's novels). Still others are unexpectedly eclectic (Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen"; Boylston's "The Sue Barton Books"; Peterson's "A Field Guide to Wildflowers"; and the record jacket for the Beatles' album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.")

While I loved the idea behind this book, I mainly liked the essays written about books with which I was familiar -- and those were the essays on "Lord Jim" and "Pride and Prejudice". Reflections on the obscure and unfamiliar works were not very interesting to me, with one exception -- Philip Lopate's essay on Stendhal made me want to read the latter's novels. I would love to see another collection like Fadiman's that focused on classic books that have a wider readership. I think that more readers would enjoy such a contribution. ( )
1 vote danielx | Aug 26, 2017 |
Anne Fadiman, of Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader fame, put together this anthology from past The American Scholar pieces on rereading. Out of the books discussed, I've only heard of 5 and actually read 1 (the last piece, on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band lyrics, was the only non-book of the bunch, and a very interesting read. Still not a fan of The Beatles, though). I enjoyed this little book, although I do not think it compares to Ex Libris.

While I did not know of the majority of the books being written about, I still really enjoyed reading about them, as the authors discussed their experiences with that particular work (or works) beautifully and with reverence, even if, on their re-reading, they did not enjoy the book as much. My favorite pieces were Diana Kappel Smith talking about a guide to wildflowers and Barbara Sjoholm talking about reading "The Snow Queen" in an ice hotel in Lapland. I also throuoghly enjoyed Fadiman's introductory discussion about re-reading The Horse and His Boy to her son and realizing the racist and sexist elements of the story and her struggle with that.

I'm always on the lookout for books about books and reading, so this was a nice little treat. ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | Jun 12, 2015 |
The introduction to this book was intriguing, with Fadiman talking about revisiting the Narnia books with her young son, and noticing all sorts of problematic issues and plot problems that she hadn't noticed as a kid, and worrying about them, and her son not caring. Rereading once-cherished books with adult eyes was a great premise, so I picked up the book. Unfortunately, most of the essays didn't live up to this promise. The problem for me was twofold - first, the age cutoff for first reading was too old at 25, so that many of the writers chose a book they'd loved in college or graduate school, rather than admitting to a childhood infatuation with Nancy Drew or a high school obsession with Tolkien. Second, and related, most of the choices were unfamiliar to me, and several seemed deliberately pretentious. The ones I found most enjoyable were in fact where the writer stuck closer to the spirit of the introduction - one about a series of nurse novels, and one about Andersen's "The Snow Queen". Former English majors, who have read more of the "pretentious graduate school" choices, would probably get a lot more out of this than I did. ( )
1 vote lorax | Sep 16, 2014 |
This collection of essays culled from The Atlantic column Fadiman edited was chock full of musings by people I'd never heard of but completely enjoyed. I had to pause this book because life took over, but that was no fault of the book or the essays. As I read, I was torn between the desire to find a highlighter to mark some particularly delicious or poignant passage and the desire to just keep reading. Inevitably I will read this book again. So many of my own thoughts, experiences, and ponderings over the rereading of once beloved books are shared by these assorted writers that sometimes it felt as if I just never took the time to phrase the thought I read. With few exceptions they traveled back to books I've never read and may never read, often books in the heights of the Western canon (although David Michalis's essay about reading the printed lyrics on the back of the Sgt. Pepper's album is by far my favorite, perhaps because I share some of those particular experiences with the LPs of old).

I think this book is particularly apt for the person entering his/her forties who looks back to those significant books of adolescence and early 20s and fears the revisit will poison the original, important, formative experience. These readers felt that same fear, and while their results did vary, I don't recall any particular ruination taking place. If anything, there's some "What the hell was I thinking?" -- which I suspect most of us climbing into our middle years ponder when looking back -- and more often a greater and deeper understanding both of the written work and the person we were when we read it. ( )
  Murphy-Jacobs | Mar 30, 2013 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Fadiman, AnneEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Ashenburg, KatherineContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Birkerts, SvenContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Goodman, AllegraContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Gornick, VivianContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hampl, PatriciaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Iyer, PicoContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
James, JamieContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kappel-Smith, DianaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Krystal, ArthurContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lopate, PhillipContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Michaelis, DavidContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Samuels, DavidContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Sante, LucContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Seshadri, VijayContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Sjoholm, BarbaraContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Toynton, EvelynContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Upchurch, MichaelContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Essays previously published in The American Scholar, the journal of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
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Answering the question "is a book the same the second time around?" this collection of essays includes contributions from Sven Krkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante, among others.

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