Faulkner is a huge blind spot for me. In college I was assigned Sanctuary, which a good number of people seem to think is Faulkner's worst book, and I've never been able to muster up the urge to return (although I have two of his other books currently on my shelf).
I tend to focus on postmodern literature, so I don't feel much shame at having not read much Austen or writers of her ilk, but I feel embarassed at my failure to complete Gravity's Rainbow or Vineland, since Pynchon is like the big daddy of postmodern American lit. I get three quarters of the way through and then everything implodes. I was 100 pages away from the finish line with Rainbow when I gave up. I did read The Crying of Lot 49 and I still love it.
I haven't read enough of the Bible! I've only given Genesis, Exodus, Job, and two of the four New Testament gospels a serious read. Other major world religious texts are a total blank.
The Odyssey and the Iliad are on my "must read before dying" list, but no luck so far. Ovid's Metamorphoses. I read Dante's Inferno a few summers ago (Pinsky translation) and was glad I did.posted by jbushnell at 5:03 PM on March 7, 2001
The one thing those three books have in common is that they are (somewhat, anyway) about hopeless love. What strikes me about The Lover is that it is written from the point of view of the object of that affection, which is a rare-ish thing, and that she writes so simply and with such empathy. It was recently made into a crappy film which you should avoid along with all film adaptations of Lolita and Of Human Bondage [aside: Gwyneth Paltrow, even as overexposed as she is, would make the most perfect Mildred, don't you think?].
The minimal library concept is just that - minimal. I'd love to have all of Margaret Atwood's work on hand at all times, sure; Hardy and Mann absolutely shatter me; Kingsley Amis deserves a mention; Siri Hustvedt's The Blindfold is the one book I've given as a gift more than any other. But those three are the ones I could read to the end and start right over again, forever. They're the desert island collection: given a steady source of food and fresh water, I'm not sure I'd want to be rescued.posted by methylsalicylate at 7:36 AM on March 8, 2001
Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.
Jorge Luis Borges' Labyrinths.
These two (slim) books contain more universes than one could fully explore in a single lifetime.posted by jbushnell at 7:43 AM on March 8, 2001
« Older Judge orders Napster to eliminate copyright songs.... | You thought it had gone away..... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt