Friday, November 9, 2007

In the Interm

I figured while we are on the topic of favorites or things I like - Literature! Hey I have a BA - I love books, I love to read, and used bookstores make me weak in the knees, but not as head over heels as first editions and signed copies - Note: to future husband wherever you are - a signed copy of a first edition Salman Rushdie book is the way to propose, who cares about the vintage ring....Regardless, since he's more than likely not reading this, that statement was more for Cheryl or Leaha to store away in the recesses of their brains. I haven't done a lot of reading as of late since I more or less gave up reading after my BA almost 3 years ago. It's a funny thing, I was talking about it with Katie Friday - after reading 25-30 novels, plus every book necessary for your research papers - on average 12 critical sources are required, and then on top of all that the related readings - articles, poems and everything else in a semester x 2 a year, and over about 4 years you get to the point where you cannot process a novel in any form other than critical and you view retro science fiction - Bradbury and Wyndham as casual reading... and Harry Potter and the like as trashy novels. Recent novels include Atwood, Lam and part of Rushdie in the literary circle, other than that Claiborne, Miller and Day are the other's to be read. I went into Chapter's Thursday - I don't like buying new books, but sometimes it's the only way to get what I want now. Due to recent conversations I've been drawn to reinforce and educate myself on the current state of affairs - I found two books - The War With No End - a collection of essays and literary works - including Naomi Klein, Arundhati Roy, Hanif Kureshi etc and another collection on the 3 slavery trials of recent times in relation to migrant workers in America - the later has made me so squeamish about buying any American products I guess I will be adding the 100 km diet to my current vegan situation. Sorry E I know your produce isn't but nor can you ship it to me across the country.

Regardless my favorite novels/fictional literary works broken down into 3 categories:

Group One - Literary Genius':
Chaucer - wrote three papers on the Prioress' Tale over the course of my degree - he knew how to pack those stories with so much

Jane Eyre - it's a Gothic novel - no that isn't the black wearing, Marilyn Manson type - the original form, one of the first female bildungsroman novels produced - foundational for the thousands of texts to follow

Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie - Magic realism, Indian history and the creation of post-colonial vernacular is awesome to say the least - to tackle all of them is why the man gets the Booker Prizes

Group Two - Love them but won't recommend them

Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto- Canadian author - the entire text is written without gender specification of the lead character however the content is odd considering it's based on a Japanese folktale and having the non-gender aspect it is unusual - rated PG-14 at least due to sex content(my copy is signed)

Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf -The book is complex, it's dry and as a whole needs to be discussed in a literary context to get the whole range of the text - that goes for all of Woolf's literature. She's amazing, but from a general public standpoint her greatness is lost.

Salman Rushdie - as with Woolf - the depth is lost - not to mention after 400+ pages you get lost easily

Group 3 - Recommended

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood - socially relevant and while it has a very strong feminist undercurrent it isn't as overt as some of her other works

Second Class Citizen - Buchi Emecheta - Biography of her life in England as an African immigrant -heart breaking and beautiful

The English Patient - Ondaatje is complex but less intimidating than Rushdie, his other works are wonderfully detailed and his biography of life in Sri Lanka is a necessary accompaniment to Anil's Ghost

1 comment:

Chris Robinson said...

A few years ago I randomly decided that fiction was a waste of time and started reading all "learnin' books" (I'm from GA; thats how we roll...but not really) I just realized I've been acting like that was true. I read the His Dark Materials trilogy so I could accurately talk about it in my ministry and I couldn't miss Deathly Hallows but I've walked right past the fiction shelves for too long. (Although I'm sure the lit student in you wouldn't want me to return to my old ways...before I dropped fiction I was a huge tom clancy fan).

Yup, Ima have to start reading some more stories...you've inspired me.

@used books... I'm with you all the way. I love old books. There's a store near here that has this great corner full of old books. It doesn't have the greatest selection but its reasonably priced and the books there have a smell that can't be captured by a new paperback from Barnes & Noble. I don't get too much into the first editions though...primarily because I'm cheap and don't need anything else to lust after.