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What a difference a day (or 14,600 days) makes...

 
 
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 07:00 pm
When I was a teenager I read everything by Kurt Vonnegut. I loved him.

I started rereading some of those books recently -- 40 years later.

When I was younger I enjoyed his quirky way of telling a story. I thought he was funny.

Now he just breaks my heart.

Is there a book that you've reread many years later that seems like a completely different book?
 
cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2016 07:59 pm
@boomerang,
That's happened with many authors. Rereading a book brings out things the second time around not understood in its first reading. That's because what's in the entire book explains much of what's in the first few chapters. Also, a much later reading can be interpreted differently, because of life experiences that changes our perceptions.
Roberta
 
  5  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2016 06:13 pm
@boomerang,
boomer, I read Kafka's Metamorphosis when I was in college (I was a teenager). I thought it was good but strange. I read it again about ten years later. I thought it was still strange--and sad. I read it again about fifteen years later. I thought it was heart-wrenching.

The book stayed the same, but I changed.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2016 06:51 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I wonder if I spent my youth reading things that were best saved for later...
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2016 06:53 pm
@Roberta,
Maybe I need to add that to my rereading list. Maybe I need to add everything to my rereading list.

What accounts for this heartbreak? Is it just empathy? Does empathy ripen that slowly?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2016 07:33 pm
@boomerang,
I doubt it. I believe reading different authors and subjects is the best way to entertain and educate oneself.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2016 01:08 am
@boomerang,
boomer, I think empathy may grow with age and life experience. But I think the change was in my greater understanding of human nature and emotional pain.

Every time I've reread something good, I gained something different from it. How much rereading can a person do? Depends, I guess.

ci: I'm confused. When I read your post here, I thought of another post you made not too long ago.

"I estimate my book reading to about 50 that includes the reading required to earn a bachelors degree in Business. "

Are you suggesting that you think reading can entertain and educate people, but you choose not to do it?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2016 02:28 am
I's say your understanding changes. I became disenchanted with Vonnegut by the time i was 30--i wouldn't read anything of his now. I read some Heinlein when i was a kid and thought it was cool. I read some of those novels again when i was past 30, and found him creepy.

I recently re-read Vanity Fair, and, as Roberta suggests, found much to value in the novel that i didn't understand when i was younger. I generally don't do "favorite novel," or "best novel" questions. When someone comes here to ask for a good novel to read, though, i always recommend Thackerary, because it is so high quality, and it is a wonderful satire on manners and the English culture of his day. At the same time, it deals with "eternal truths" of human nature and the human spirit.

So i find the really worthwhile books to be well worth re-reading, and i find that those which don't stand the test of time were not so special as i thought when i was a young and callow fellow.
DrewDad
 
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Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2016 08:23 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I read some Heinlein when i was a kid and thought it was cool. I read some of those novels again when i was past 30, and found him creepy.

Came to post exactly this... On re-reading as an adult, his stuff is misogynistic and predictable.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2016 09:36 am
Heinlein I found entertaining, until I started Stranger in a Strange Land. I was so disappointed, I quit reading him after that. Never read Vonnegut.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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