This week, I have read seven articles, but only Eudora Welty’s ‘One Writer’s Beginnings” left a deep impression on me because it made me recall my own reading experience and education process when I just saw the title of this article. I could not say I am a writer, but I think I am a totally reading lover. After reading the “One Writer’s Beginnings”, I think there is a little bit similar between Eudora Welty’s childhood and mine. However, perhaps I did not have the gift of writing, or I did not work hard enough. In another word, I do not have any advantages on writing. Next, I would like to talk about my reading experience, which include three parts, reading before go to school, reading during school time, self-reading experience. Recall my reading experience over the years, book told me stories, taught me knowledge, and always around me, so I have to say that reading is a very enjoyable thing. Remember it was when I came to Seattle not long, that was a sunshine afternoon, a cup of tea was in my hand. Many kids were playing and frolicking on the grass in front of my apartment.
That scene made me recall to my childhood. When I was four years old, my mother read to me just like Eudora Welt’s mother did. I tried my best to recall the scene in my mind. I was sad to say I was too young at that time, so I do not remember her tone when she was reading to me, but I still remember the scene at the time, I remember her face when she was reading, her slightly upturned corners of the mouth while Robinson Crusoe saved a person and called him Friday. I remember the wind with a faint smell of the sea when she read the Treasure Island to me, and her cunning eyes when she read DR. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Reading was the memorable part of my childhood, and I had the preliminary understanding of reading, I want to say that my mother was the first teacher of my life who taught me to read. When I was older, my family had to move from Beijing to the ancient capital Nanjing because my father changed his job. My family did not have much money, we had to take the “green train” (the slowest and oldest train in China, always crowded, most of passengers do not have seats, not in service right now), and unfortunate I had to leave all my books.
Before we got on the train, my father bought me a very old book, the Three Kingdoms from a used books store. I had already known a few words at that time, so my mother let me read by myself, which was the first time I read without anyone’s help. Indeed, I still did not plentiful of words, but it was really excited to say, I knew how to use a dictionary when I was young. Until now, I still remember what the book looked like, it was not any pictures on the cover, just the book’s name, “the Three kingdoms” on the dark blue cover of the book, every page in this book was yellowish and rough, the smell was not so good, it was smell like a mixture of soap and gasoline. However, I cherished this book, I slept with it, and sometimes I fantasized about the battle scenes were described in the book. After that, I started to read some books that use my father’s words “for men”, such as “the Art of War”, “the Old man and the Sea” and “the Sun Also Rises”.
During my childhood, the books always around me, they let me always happy even in the tough environment. Furthermore, the books let me understand this world more than the other kids who were the same ages as me. I think these all attributed to my parents. Time flies, after lived in Nanjing for two years. Finally, I went to school, I was later than other peer children. At the beginning of the primary school, I could not adapt to the reading method. Gradually, I started to realize that reading in school was not for fun, it was for studying. At school, I read a lot of articles and poetries such as Confucian Analects and Tang Poems. The classical Chinese is fantastic before I understood their magic I did not think it was reading, I even queried that is this Chinese? However, from the study of gradually, I gradually could understand how beautiful are they, sometimes, Classical Chinese expresses artistic conception and feeling to describe a scene or a thing. Anyway, reading a classical Chinese’s article is an extremely difficult task, except for the uncommon words, the most difficult part is feeling.
It is worth mentioning that learning classical Chinese literature strengthened my foundation of reading and strengthened my understanding of articles, let me got the advantage on reading in the future. Fortunately, they did not ask me to read the classical Chinese article every day, I had found that I still can read for fun even in school. I read a lot of Eastern and Western articles, the first book I read in school was Mark Twain’s the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, in this book I saw a real person who is innocent and lively, is eager to take risks, the pursuit of freedom called Tom Sawyer. After that, I started to read western literary classics such as Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Boule de Suif by Maupassant. For Eastern author, I read almost all of Lu Xun’s and Lao She’s articles. Lao She’s Rickshaw Boy was very famous. Reading this kind of literature let me understand many things about our society and people.
The beautiful words in these articles aroused my desire for writing. In these years of reading experience, I tried to write something by my own, but my writing skills are not improve any more, my mother told me that I could write a diary, I know it could be a good way to improve my writing skills, but I always lack a kind of perseverance to stick to it. In my own words, I think writing would be fun, so I just try to write something for fun, and I also think more reading will help. Let me use the words from Eudora Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings, “By now I do not know whether I could do either one, reading or writing, without the other.” I think here the author points out that reading and writing is not separate, they are connected to each other. For me, I think I should write practice more for my writing and have fun on that. For now, speak of my whole reading experience, no matter formal or informal, both are the key treasure in my life. I hope one day, I can write my story for other people to read. Maybe one day, I will hear the voice too, just like Eudora Welty. In Eudora Welty’s article, she introduced the reading and writing experience to me, they are very worthy to me to learn,
Courtney from Study Moose
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