Back int the day when I was fourteen and an avid rider, I begged and begged to go to a summer camp where the emphasis was on equitation. My parents finally relented, so off I went. After the usual milling around, getting settled in my cabin, and meeting my roommates for the summer, our cabin counselor arrived. She who will be forever remembered as the SS, was a serious sophomore at some prestigious east coast women's college. She gathered us all together and informed us that every evening she would be reading us a book and dismissed us to decide what we wanted to hear.
So out we went to decide. Right off the bat we realized that the racier romances that were beginning to flood the bookstore shelves would probably not be the thing to ask for. Not that we, being very good girls, had ever read one, or spent endless hours speculating with out friends, about that descriptive adjective, the "throbbing manhood," that seemed to appear on every other page, oh not us. So that genre being dismissed, we marched off to the camp library to find something. And find something we did, Anya Seton's "Katherine," probably the most beloved book of a whole generation of girls.
We picked it up and scurried back to the SS with our choice. She looked at it with shocked horror. It was though we had given her a copy of "Love's Throbbing Body Parts," or some other racy romance. Since we were incapable of choosing a book, she would have to do it for us. So what do you think she chose, since we had selected, "Katherine?" If you guessed "Pride and Prejudice" or "Jane Eyre," or even "War and Peace," you would be wrong.
What she chose, and what we were treated to all summer long was Joseph Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness." I kid you not, we had to lie there like trapped rats listening to the most boring depressing book ever written. The book that makes "The Mayor of Casterbridge," look scintillating. It was then and there I decided that just because a book was popular or interesting did not make it trash. And just because it was boring and stupid did not make it wonderful.
In hindsight, I decided that she probably had to read it, or do some sort of paper on it, and decided to kill two birds with one stone. Because I can't imagine anyone wanting to read that for any other reason