Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Somebody Think of the Young Adults!

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    "Worthwhile literature” – just want to roll that around on the tongue for a while, it’s so gigglesome :)

    Not as laughable a notion as you might think. I got quite a worthwhile literary education looking for fucks and dirty words – not least from the copy of Maurice Gee’s Sole Survivor I got at my boarding school prizegiving for excellence in 4th Form English. (That’s the one that opens with a pretty saucy description of the novel’s narrator spying on a teenage relation having acrobatic intercourse in a river with a very well-hung chappy. This was the same school where I had my copy of Princess Daisy confiscated, and I’ll be damned if I can remember which party to that awkward moment was more embarrassed.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking, in reply to Rich Lock,

    ‘1984’ was also a set text. The Herald may need reminding that major portions of the plot revolve around the active enjoyment of sex and state suppression thereof.

    Yeah, I was thinking of that too. Same at my school...(4th form, I think. Was somewhat surprised, but not unpleasantly, at the time).

    Also 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' which led to a spate of jokes about earth-moving in my 5th form class.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I think English teachers rely on a whole bunch of people having heard of books like 1984, so assuming they're "worthy", but never having read them. And it's good for your kids to be reading Worthy Books.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Roger,

    Had a 7th form English teacher (in the mid 70s) who put both Portnoy's Complaint and Justine on the reading list....

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Roger,

    Had a 7th form English teacher (in the mid 70s) who put both Portnoy’s Complaint and Justine on the reading list….

    Justine? Justine was all but banned back then - under academic restriction. How'd he even get copies?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I feel compelled to add, because I've been buzzed about this all day, Jacqueline Carey found this column and linked to it on Facebook. Jacqueline Carey. I have, basically, peaked.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Roger,

    Justine? Justine was all but banned back then - under academic restriction. How'd he even get copies?

    You are right and my memory was betraying me, it was Peter Weiss's 1963 play Marat/Sade. But I now remember that Slaughterhouse-Five was also on the list

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Cubey,

    If you missed it, don''t miss Kim Hill's terrific Playing Favourites interview with Ted Dawe from Saturday Morning. Not only is he unrepentant about the content of Into the River, he suggests that LSD is a potent inspiration for writers. (Music, as always, deleted, because: copyrights.)

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • James Norcliffe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Possible Lawrence Durrell, not the marquis...

    Christchurch • Since Sep 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • James Norcliffe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Possibly Lawrence Durrell, not the marquis...

    Christchurch • Since Sep 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I haven't read the book (no longer young and barely qualify as an adult) but I was quite moved by Kim Hill's interview with Dawe last Saturday. A very sensitive and thoughtful bloke and obviously a top-notch teacher. Check it out on the RNZ site if you haven't heard it.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Mark: Oh, snap! I ought to pay attention.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • wendyf,

    I visited a dear friend on Tuesday whose adult daughter had sent her a copy of the book. The daughter had bought the book for _her_ little girl, (for when the little girl is old enough to read) and sent it to dear friend in the meantime.

    Do you think I should warn my friend?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    We all wanna read this .

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

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