Monday, August 14, 2006

One meme, two meme, three's another via Litlove

1. First book to leave a lasting impression? Looking back, I guess William Saroyan's The Human Comedy has resonated with me through the years. Freshman year of high school, we had to read this and I never read anything like it before. It was the first 'real' thing I had read and Saroyan's language spoke to me and still does.

2. Which author would you most like to be? Before I thought about the questions, I figured I'd put Kerouac, but I don't think that's my choice. John Clellon Holmes was a brilliant and a truly gifted writer and friend of Ginsberg and Kerouac. He was married and considered more of a square than the rest of the Beats. He lived a normal suburban life and this pseudo-outsider status gave him great insight. I'd like to be John Clellon Holmes.

3. Name the book that has made you want to visit a place I was trying to think of something exotic and unique, but I kept on thinking of only two places...New York City in the 1950s and Walden Pond. I'll go with Walden Pond because I have been there and I'll leave 1950s New York and the automats in Times Square to my dreams.

4. Which contemporary author will be read in 100 years time? J.M. Coetzee

5. Which book would you recommend to a teenager reluctant to try 'literature'? In my head, I was thinking of a book each for a teenage boy and a book for a teenage girl, but didn't want to make a distinction. How about John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces?

6. Name your best recent literary discovery Within the past year, I've read Maeve Brennan, Margaret Atwood and Julian Barnes for the first time. I'll go with Maeve Brennan because her book Notes of the Long-Winded Lady were as close to E.B. White as one can get.

7. Which author's fictional world would you most like to live in? As an observer, sitting on a porch in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County.

8. Name your favorite poet Hart Crane? Kerouac? Auden? Edna St. Vincent Millay? Allen Ginsberg's poetry trumps them. It still blows me away.

9. What's the best non-fiction book you've read this year? E.B. White's essay, Second Tree from the Corner. But for a longer book, I'm reading Mark Anderson's Shakespeare by Another Name: the Biography of Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford.

10. Which auther do you think is much better than his/her reputation? I think E.B. White is widely recognized as children's author, but he is a brilliant writer and I can't say enough about him. But for this question, I'm going to choose my favorite writer, Jack Kerouac. Kerouac sometimes gets a quick look when people talk/write about literature. And if he is brought up, only On the Road is mentioned. However, his canon of work is varied and plentiful, but most of all, it's unique in vision and wonderfully written.


Dorothy W. said...

I agree with you about E.B. White -- his kids books are great, but his prose, essayistic style is wonderful too.

litlove said...

Wow - great answers. I've never read E. B. White, but if both you and Dorothy rate him...

Stefanie said...

I'd like to go to Walden Pond someday even though I know it could never match my imagination of it. Even though I have enjoyed several of White's essays, I am guilty of thinking of him as a children's book author probably because his were some of my favorite books when I was a kid.

iliana said...

Oh good call on Confederacy of Dunces. I think I would have liked reading that in high school.

iliana said...
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M. Barresi said...

Stefanie, Walden is nothing like it was even 15 years ago. It's definitely a nice place to go to, but it's not as secluded or as unknown. But if you come to Boston, you have to visit.

Iliana, that was the one I had the most difficulty deciding on. I know Confederace is a great read for adults, but I think some teens could get it for sure.

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