Literary Corner Cafe

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ten Questions in Search of an Answer

1. One book that changed your life: As much as I love literature, no book has really changed my life. Many books have enriched it, but not changed it. Maybe I could say "the first book I ever read or was read to me." I think that book probably caused me to fall deeply in love with well written literature.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier - I am just fascinated by the character of Rachel. I also want to work out what really happened and what everyone's motivations were. Generally, however, I only read a book once. I have too many I want to read to be rereading.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Anna Karenina by Count Leo Tolstoy, Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. I find something new in it every time I open it. Alternates would be Joyce's Ulysses and Cervantes' Don Quixote. I could never get tired of those three books in a million years.

4. One book that made you laugh: P.G. Wodehouse’s "Blandings Castle" series. It's always high summer there and always hilarious. I wish the place were real.

5. One book that made you cry: For Bea by Kristen von Kreisler. Books about dogs will get me every time. I'm so glad Bea found the love she was seeking.

6. One book that you wish you had written: None, really, no matter how much I loved them because they weren’t my stories to write or I would have written them. If pressed to choose, though, I'd probably go with one by Thomas Hardy, maybe Tess of the d'Ubervilles or Far From the Madding Crowd. Just not Jude the Obscure. I love Wessex and I love Hardy's tragedy.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: There are several books I really disliked and wish I'd never read, but others liked them, so they have merit. My answer would have to be none.

8. One book you’re currently reading: The Quincunx by Charles Palliser. Yes, it's a marvelous feat of literature, but I think Palliser goes into too much detail. It's "too much of a good thing," though I realize he's replicating the Victorians' penchant for detail, so I forgive him. LOL I hope I finish this book during this lifetime because I have so many more I want to read. I've come more than halfway now and don't want to throw in the towel, though I strongly suspect the ending is going to be a disappointment for me.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: There are many, but for now, let's go with A Passage to India by E.M. Forster. I think about this book a lot, but never actually sit down and read it. I like Forster, though.

10. One book you recommend to almost everyone: That's difficult, since everyone has different tastes in literature. I recommend books based on the individual; I dont give blanket recommendations. I suppose Don Quixote, Edith Grossman translation, though I know everyone wouldn't read it. My reason for recommending it: That book was the basis for the modern novel, the first "real" novel.

Feel free to comment or copy this little survey and post your own "ten questions in search of an answer." I'd love to know what you think.


baron said...

My goodness. I've read a book a week since about age six and I haven't come across one here I've even seen. Perhaps my taste needs some serious upgrading.

Literary Corner Cafe said...

I doubt your taste needs upgrading at all. I think it's just different from mine. And that's a good thing. Literature is so subjective.

Thank you for the comment.