Wrap-Up: In Memoriam

So, how did you enjoy reading a poem for a change? This poem was a lot longer than I anticipated. Here I thought we were getting a break, and then our poem ends up being the length of a novella? Well, at least it was no Iliad.

What did you think? I wasn’t blown away by this poem, but it was fascinating to see Tennyson’s reaction to his friend’s death and tracked his grief. The beginning is angry and sad; but over the years of writing about the experience he mellows out and comes to terms with the loss. The famous line “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” is from this piece (for some reason I always thought it was Shakespeare?) and Daria eloquently explains it in the episode like this:

Daria – Well, he’s acknowledging that if something makes you feel good, like being in love, there must be a corresponding painful side, like losing a love, and that it’s just a fact of life.

Mr. O’Neill – Sad, but true.

Daria – And what’s intriguing about it is that no one calls Tennyson a big unhappiness freak just because he understands that.

Mr. O’Neill – Is he a big unhappiness freak?

Daria – No, he’s a realist. He says, “Emotional involvement brings pleasure and extraordinary pain.” Then he declares that it’s better than feeling nothing at all.

Mr. O’Neill – That is excellent, Daria.

Daria – Of course, this was before the advent of community property laws.

Conversations like this remind me that at one point in time there was more to MTV than teen pregnancy reality shows. Can we have more intelligent introverts on TV, please? Anyway, here are the wrap-up discussion questions:

Question #1 – What did you think of it?
Question #2 – What do you think Daria would have thought of the piece?
Question #3 – Are there any final, thoughts, themes, questions, etc. that you would like to discuss?

Our next selection is a book that you most likely read sophomore year of high school: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nothing like a good supernatural allegory for the month of October!

scarlet letter



Intro: In Memoriam

5713108-MWe have been reading some lengthy, complicated and/or weird titles lately, so I am pleased to announce that our newest reading assignment is short! The next selection on the Daria reading list is In Memoriam, a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It is referenced in the episode The Misery Chick, where Lawndale High sports hero Tommy Sherman returns for an award only to be killed by his own beloved football goal post. The student body, mourning his loss, turns to Daria for advice, considering she likes to think about death, or so they think. At the end of the episode, Mr. O’Neil has the students studying Tennyson’s In Memoriam, which is fitting, considering it was written as an obituary.

So, this may not be the happiest of poems (or Daria episodes, for that matter), but I am guessing there are considerably less drug-induced visions than in out last reading!

Since this is such a short assignment, we will be wrapping up and posting our discussion next week.

Wrap-up: The Teachings of Don Juan

I just want to make a disclaimer. We, here at SSBC, do not advise going out into the desert and doing drugs with a crazy old man no matter how much enlightenment you think you will receive from the experience.
With that being said…Congratulations on finishing The Teachings of Don Juan! I hope I’m not alone in saying this, but I’m glad that is was a short read. I know that many people have gained spiritual and cultural enlightenment from this book; however, I do not seem to be one of them.
Now on to the questions!
Question #1 – What did you think of it?
Question #2 – What do you think Daria would have thought of the piece?
Question #3 – Are there any final, thoughts, themes, questions, etc. that you would like to discuss?

Our next selection is a poem! In Memoriam by Lord Alfred Tennyson is the next piece we will be delving into here at the book club. The introduction will be posted sometime next week, so stay tuned!