Category Archives: Why Do I Have to Read This?

The Turn of the Screw
Or, Mary Poppins in Collinwood

Why Do I Have to Read This?

Mary Poppins Collinwood Turn of the ScrewGoverness on the edge. Depraved ghosts, corrupted children. Great title admonishing us all for our perversity. What is not to like here? This is the touchstone of horror narrative. Yes, the sentences are sometimes long twisty things with oh-and-by-the-ways nested in them, but believe me, Henry James was just getting warmed up. His long novels have sentences so extended and convoluted you may need someone else to read for you while you go out and get a sandwich—you’ll have time to get back before the Continue reading

Ethan Frome
Or, The Man Who Tried to Blame It on the Cat

Why Do I Have to Read This? Edith Wharton, Doctor Who, Ethan Frome

The short answer is, you don’t. The apocalypse will come, and there will be no one handing out brownie points to the ones who actually read, mmm, let’s say, Ethan Frome, instead of Spark Noting it. If the short answer is all you crave in this short life, then, blithe spirit, you really do need to read Ethan Frome—so that you may internalize the moral of the story, which is: Life is short, unless you do something mindbogglingly stupid—for example, go for a short, fast answer on a doomed sled—in which case, it can end up being very, very long. Here are a few more reasons why: Continue reading