Friday, April 08, 2005

The Book Meme - 8 April 2005

Kicking, Screaming & Grinning
This is all thanks to Lance, of course:

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be [save by memorizing]?

Pale Fire - I can be Text, Commentary, and Index (a jewel in that crown) all at once, and read myself back and forth, and dress as an athlete in scarlet wool. How other people are gonna read me is strictly up to them. Always bothered me, that F451 conceit - I mean, the Book-You, do you just rattle off in sequence? Do you allow questions? Are your readers allowed notes, or will that infect their own booky essence?

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Matho in Salammbo - the ultimate lovestruck hunk.
Isabel Archer in Portrait of a Lady - in much the same way as Ralph, of course. So American this thing, wanting to rescue people who want to rescue people.

3. The last book you bought is?

Hangover Square - Patrick Hamilton - you have to get this from Canada!

4. What are you currently reading?

Ian McEwan - The Child in Time
Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Alan Hollinghurst - The Line of Beauty - (as I have a platform here, I strongly recommend The Folding Star, too)
Neal Stephenson - Quicksilver
Gene Wolfe - The Wizard
Alan Furst - Blood of Victory
Neal Pollack - Never Mind the Pollacks
Guy Gavriel Kay - Sailing to Sarantium (per Brad DeLong)

all of them quite slowly - uninterrupted reading time is precious here, and rare.

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island?

Complete Shakespeare - it still contains the world (I'd take the Riverside edition, btw, or the complete Ardens)
In Search of Lost Time - Proust - the Aleph in a cookie
I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) - Alessandro Manzoni - melodrama at its best
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Garcia-Marquez - the snake bites its tail
Wind in the Willows - Grahame - ripping yarns of great purity, and finally, comfort - or comfortable yarns of great purity, and finally, ripping - I dunno.... This is not a sop to LM; one thing that you loved very early, and that holds up as well as WITW , would be welcome on that fucking island.

Now, if I was going to cheat and add a 6th it would be
Journey to the West - the Tony Yu translation. Link is to Vol. 1 - there are (of course) four volumes.


Lance Mannion said...


Excellent questions about the protocol from Fahrenheit 451. Instead of getting all huffy about Michael Moore "stealing" his title, I think Bradbury should have spent time clearing those things up, especially a question you didn't bring up---if one of your "readers" has to go home in the middle of "reading" you, how do they insert a bookmark?

I'll bet it hurts.

grishaxxx said...

On the other hand, I might enjoy it! Those Zemblan folkways, you know.
We don't choose these things idly, Sir.

home equity said...