Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Thumbing your nose at authority
Imani has posed two challenges of writers fallen from grace - Index Librorum Liberorum is a list devised by the Catholic church of books to stay away from if you want to get to heaven. Imani's challenge suggests instead that we go to hell. The Outmoded Authors Challenge gives us all the opportunity to read from a list of writers proposed by Imani's readers who are no longer popular. So whether you're thumbing your nose at the pope or at fashion, click the links provided and sign up.
Preferring to keep my soul intact (and facing the looming start of the semester) I'm signing up for the Outmoded Authors Challenge. There are such great pickings! Dawn Powell, May Sarton, Christina Stead! I'm going to reread one May Sarton book, I suggested her! I've probably read all of Sarton's journals and novels (and some of her poetry) and she's published at least 30 books, but I haven't returned to them. I remember Faithful are the Wounds as a good one and Kinds of Love was one of my favorites, so one of those goes on the list. Fraternity by John Galsworthy has been on the TBR pile for about two years now. The New York Times described it as "among the best novels this century has produced so far," but that was in 1909. But ecstatic reviews aside, it features an interesting conflict between middle class conformity and bohemianism. We'll see. Mostly this challenge intrigues me because of those on the list I've never read. I'm tempted to read something by Olivia Manning, Marian Engel, Ivy Compton-Burnett, E. R. Eddison, and maybe Christina Stead, but that list will probably have to be shortened.
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If you do shorten it, please allow Ivy to remain! I still think her Manservant and Maidservant is one of the most astonishing, even dangerous (if you read it, you'll see what I mean) novels I've read in the last five years. Why her novel is not studied in schools the world over still astonishes me to this day! I don't get it. It seemed like such an event to me.
I'm glad to have a specific recommendation from you, I wasn't sure what to read of hers and they way she's promoted makes her sound hoity-toity melodramatic. Thanks, Imani!
I'm reading some May Sarton for the challenge-specifically The Small Room. Good to know she's a favourite of yours! :)
Eva - Great!! I loved The Small Room, I'll be interested in hearing your response. I really enjoyed Kinds of Love, Shadow of a Man, and all of her memoirs and journals too.
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