“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.