We are back this week on The Literary Life with the final another episode in our 2021 Summer Short Story series, a discussion of D. H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking Horse Winner.” After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks begin the literary chat with some background information on the writer D. H. Lawrence. Cindy talks about her reaction to this story and the running thread of bitterness underlying throughout. Angelina highlights the significance of the cultural climate of the 1920s in this story. As the story unfolds, we see magical and fairy tale elements, as well as some significant symbols, including the rocking horse.
Come back next week for an important episode on magic in literature and how to approach books with magical elements. Following that, we will explore Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Listen to The Literary Life:
Rather than being restricted to the simple material they can read on their own, young children need to listen to their teachers read more complex books aloud and engage in discussions about what they’ve heard—and, depending on their age, write about it.Natalie Wexler
At the same time, teaching disconnected comprehension skills boosts neither comprehension nor reading scores. It’s just empty calories. In effect, kids are clamoring for broccoli and spinach while adults insist on a steady diet of donuts.
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.Alexander Pope, “Essay on Man”
Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.D. H. Lawrence
The Wooden Horse of Myth
by Oscar Williams
The wooden horse of myth stands on the air arching a traitorous neck on roofed mankind: the clocks are eyeballs round with mock despair hunting in sanguine skylines of the mind: and cherub faces fluttering in position, dolls tethered by the nerves behind the curtain and soldiers draped about the foiled ignition portend an end momentously uncertain. Meanwhile the white-haired meadows of the sea sing in the fixtures of the music box: the crowning glory of the verb to be marches its fields of fire among the rocks-- while tides of flowers topple from the blood and horseless hills affirm their mountainhood.
Studies in Classic American Literature by D. H. Lawrence
The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence (not recommended)
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
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