Drinking the tea (as opposed to the Kool-Aid)

“I came to love and admire the work of Puritan writers in the American colonies – work I had previously detested. I saw theme was something universal in all expressions of human culture, and a mature student would not pass something by as being not his cup of tea. It was the student writer’s job to drink the tea. Drink the tea, people.”

The above quote is by Gregory Maguire, the author of the bestseller book turned Broadway smash hit Wicked, speaking on his experiences as a graduate student in English. I related immediately, because I, too, hate Puritan work. I don’t especially like the Scarlet Letter. And as I thought about this, I remembered all the books that I didn’t particularly care for while taking literature classes in high school that are still considered classics despite my ample protests: The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, Ethan Frome. So, in the spirit of being a student writer and realizing it’s my job to drink the tea, I am going to re-read these books and see how  they live up to my now more (hopefully) mature tastes in literature.



Filed under life stories, wordsmithing

8 responses to “Drinking the tea (as opposed to the Kool-Aid)

  1. Good luck with that. There’s a great deal of literature I don’t much care for, but since I tend to prefer YA I guess my mind hasn’t matured yet. :-/ maybe in a few decades? Or maybe I should try again? It has been a while…

    I couldn’t help but notice your tweet on editing. What do you need an editor for?

    • tylee85

      I agree as well with the literature comment – however, I suppose it’s not really my job to enjoy the literature as much as it is to read it, and then be able to talk about it in an educated manner instead of “OMG Hawthorne is so entertainment fail.”

      And as far as editing goes, just looking for extra pairs of eyes to look at stuff I’m writing.

    • I read YA ALL the time. And I feel quite confidant in my maturity level. XD.

  2. kacie

    what do you think of the bronte sisters’ works?

  3. I…but…you…wha…CATCHER IN THE RYE? That’s my second favorite book of EVER. READ IT AGAIN.

    I am just…I…wow.


    *deep breaths*

    You don’t have to love it, but to amply protest it? I’m going to reread it again, starting today, simply because I feel like you’ve hurt its feelings. And also because I just finished my book (White Oleander…I would recommend, but I don’t know how much our literature tastes align…).

    • tylee85

      Like I said, I was young and impulsive. I’m willing to give these books a second chance. Bear with me, here. :p

      • LHF

        I haven’t read Catcher.

        I wonder if it’s a great insight into the depths of my soul that I really identified with the character of Arthur Dimmesdale.

        I hope not.

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