Hey, the cool kids on the blogroll have convinced me to jump on the bandwagon. Who says peer pressure is a bad thing?
1) What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading... WAIT FOR IT... The Sign of the Labrys by Margaret St. Clair, a copy of which I purchased for 50 cents at a huge used bookstore in Manassas, Virginia. You may recall, this book had the bizarre blurb on the back cover- WOMEN ARE WRITING SCIENCE-FICTION!!! It's a pretty bizarre book, and I may have to review it in a future blog post. I must say, I am very pleased with my fifty cent purchase.
2) As a child, what did you read under the covers?
I don't really remember doing this particularly, but I loved John D. Fitzgerald's "Great Brain" books and Beverly Cleary's books (Ramona the Pest is one of the greatest comic creations of American children's literature)- the wikipedia says that Ms. Cleary is still writing at the age of 95... this really makes me happy.
3) Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?
I'm not a big crier, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice a large quantity of dust in the air while I read the end of Watership Down ***SPOILER REDACTED**'s final moments are beautifully written, as his strength ebbs out of his body and he feels it flowing into his descendents. Damn, that's some fine writing, even the little touch of having the first primroses in bloom at both beginning and end of the novel was delicious. Yeah, it's a simple "adventure story", but it was well done.
4) You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?
Does a multi-volume book count as one book? If so, one of the big translations of the Ramayana would be a good choice... If not, I have a single-volume edition of Frazer's The Golden Bough, sure it's dated, but it's extensive, so it would be a good read for the cellbound. I'd also take a translation of One Thousand and One Night- hey, that'd cover a year, no? I'd also take a honking big Borges collection.
5) Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?
Princess Eilonwy of the red-gold hair from Lloyd Alexander's The High King, because she was all growded up in that particular book.
6) If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?
Keep Your Thumb Out of Your Ass
7) Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading in high school English classes?
Book (if non-fiction is allowed): Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters- it's gorgeous, well-written, and a good antidote to bullshit. If only literature is allowed, Homer's Odyssey is a good "foundational" work to which a lot of other literature alludes.
Play: Arthur Miller's All My Sons, it's a powerful indictment of war profiteering.
Poem: Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky, followed by a discussion of possible meanings for the nonsense words, and how the meanings of actual words change over the course of time, and new words are coined all the time.
8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?
I'm with zrm here, the eternal flying party from Life, the Universe, and Everything
9) What would you title your memoirs?
F*** the Courtesy Flush
10) If you were an actor, which literary character do you dream of playing?
Grettir from Grettir's Saga.