December 19, 2021
Arrakis. Dune. Desert planet. I came up with this idea years ago when I still had a blog; I even thought of a domain idea: “Jerry Reads” (
jerryreads.com) or something similar—not that I’ll make a separate web site. The idea is not too different from what I already do most of the time: read and comment/interpret/analyze texts. Yet, with this, I would pick a novel (epic, text, whatever) and read and comment on each chapter, building a complex response to important texts. I originally thought of doing this with the Bible, but I decided not to waste all that effort of an unworthy text. However, I’ve been thinking of starting this idea while rereading Dune.
Each post could be an overview of the chapter, including pertinent facts and plot lines. I could discuss characters, themes, motifs, symbols, metaphors, etc., specific to the chapter and also put them in context to what I have read and written so far. I could incorporate research and scholarly apparatus, like a bibliography and critical secondary texts. Maybe I should take an approach like Hexter did for reading the Odyssey: annotating, commenting, and expanding on the literal text as I read, similar to my annotated poems without including the original text—something I find truly enjoyable. I’m not sure. Maybe I should just start and see what happens—let the organization develop organically, though that might come back to bite me in the butt later. If I’ve learned anything from developing DH projects, it’s decide on a structure first. Yeah, I might have to think about this for a bit.
Still, this idea is attractive, though I’m uncertain if I’ll be able to keep it up. Reading novels to teach or write about it way different than reading for pleasure—though that’s not to imply the former is not also pleasurable. I do get much more out of a novel when I read it with my professor’s cap on. I think I would have enjoyed Breakfast of Champions a bit more had I done that.
Still, this could be a lot of fun. Maybe this is how I can incorporate Reddit: I could make a community, like
r/GRLucas, and link each post here to a post on Reddit in case anybody would like to comment or discuss. I’ve tried to get a comment system (Disqus, specifically) working on MediaWiki for a while, with no avail—this is just not the software to use for something like that.
- Hexter, Ralph (1993). A Guide to the Odyssey. New York: Vintage.