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May 21, 2009



Jeanne, for your next post, I would like you to try to express yourself more freely. Don't hold back Jeanne-Dawg. Don't hold back next time.

Your last two paragraphs so perfectly sum up what I want to do but what I need to sharpen.


Excellent, Queen Jeanne. Absolute.

And I'm sorry, folks, but I detest Hawthorne's writing. I think he must have been clinically depressed or a devout cynic.

Madison Richards

It's a good thing you got Mike's book in the mail with the shipment of Hawthorne's - at least you can spell yourself with some decent writing when you get too bogged down!!

(P.S. remind me not to join your book club!!)


Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Elaina. Quiet and reserved as I am, I'll try to cast off the shackles of self-repression in the future.

We gratefully (and most royally) acknowledge your kindness, Nicole.

Yes, Madison. It's a very good thing. I haven't started Mike's book yet, because book group meets in five days and I'm still plowing through the thick weeds (symbolic of the transmitted vices of society) that choke cheery ol' Hawthorneville. However, Return Policy dangles in the near future--the perfect carrot to keep me going when this row gets particularly hard to hoe.

I do love my book group, by the way. Each month's hostess selects a book from an extensive list of classics. We all read it then gather to share a meal and discuss. It will be interesting to see what the others have to say about Nate. I have a feeling he won't be invited back after this!

Love, Jeanne

Cheryl Pickett

I'll say an Amen to having to read certain "classics". While some contain wonderful lessons in writing, life etc. not all of them do. There are so many good, classic works as well as contemporary writing that can be used to get across many of the same points without boring the students. Just because something once was ahead of its time or the best of its era, doesn't mean there isn't something better now.

The other thing I like about this post is that you weren't afraid to say you don't like one of the "masters" or classics. I think more teachers should take such a stand when they have a similar opinion and worry about raising good writers and readers instead of which books they did or didn't read from an ever aging list.



"In its defense, you do expand (aggrandize) your vocabulary (lexicon). You also learn to navigate, due to a proliferation of dependent clauses, not always syntactically logical, nor, punctuated per contemporary style guidelines, complicated run-on sentences."

Okay so yes this made me laugh out loud, and i believe that means you should receive some points. You get twenty three of them. I think that a tidy sum.

Way to dis ol' Hawthorne. Though to be fair to the man i read the "Scarlet Letter" in undergrad and found it to be quite a redemptive and graceful work, if at times heavy handed.


Michael Snyder

LOVED this post (yes, even before I saw the uber cool props from Madison and Jeanne...thanks, ladies).

Excellent work. Gotta go!


Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Cheryl. I agree. Just because a book has been on academic reading lists for decades doesn't mean it deserves to stay there. Many thousands of excellent options could (and I would say "should") be considered instead.

Aw, thanks, Sparky! I do believe this is the first time anyone has given me a sequential prime number of points.

As for dissing Nate, I have no problem agreeing the man had writing chops (especially taking into consideration the accepted style standards of his day) and even had some redemptive things to say. If the redundancy and self-important commentary were edited out, we might actually be left with some wonderful short stories. (And, no. I'm not joking. I believe the actual story in THOTSG, leaving in all the meat and a tasteful amount of garnish, could easily be told in 50 pages.)

Thanks, Mike. You're a pal.

Love, J.


Great post supermodel. First name super. Last name model.

But..the grass isn't as poisonous as I was led to believe:)

Jeanne Damoff

Jen! :)

I miss my old name. In fact, I'm in the process of reviving it with a new two year old. We'll see how it goes. A lot depends on parental cooperation, so thanks again for indulging me in days of yore.

Switching metaphors on the poison, it's one thing to graduate from grape juice to a glass of fine wine. But I'm talking a gallon of straight vodka poured down the throat. Still gags me.

On that pleasant note, give my love to the whole family! We miss you guys. :)


Girl! You gotta know how to mix the vodka!

Of course I am joking.

I think your mom must have been disappointed with the way things ended with Dagny and Hank. I know I was. Who did John Galt think he was, anyway? God? Wait. Yes. He pretty much did think that. Silly me.

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