|Daniel Radcliffe as young Allen Ginsberg - Kill your Darlings (2013)|
For once I didn't want to open the new school year talking about Early Romantic Poetry or reading passages from Gothic novels, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott. Students in their last year at High School are supposed to read authors from the 19th and 20th century in English Literature and even authors from Anglo-American literature can be read. What usually happens is that following a chronological order, we manage to study many texts from the 19th century and only a few the the 20th, and the last ones in a hurry, when the final exams are approaching. First of all, my syllabus this year - since I can pick up which authors, themes and texts to include - doesn't follow a chronological order, then I've also divided authors and texts according to short theme modules.
The first theme I wanted to discuss with my oldest students (18-19 years old) is Rebellious Youth, starting with J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, then reading pages from Jack Kerouac's On The Road as well as a poem by Sylvia Plath, Daddy, and the conclusion of this set of lessons will be a movie my students haven't seen so far: Dead Poets Society.