Monday, November 28, 2011

Doing the Stealation...

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.


Hamish Mack said...

I know where you got stealation from, sir. You scoundrel!
As expected Mr. Bastards choices are interesting and illuminating.

Woah capcha! gardsms? Here?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

as his strength ebbs out of his body...


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Dude, there was a spoiler alert!

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

Keep Your Thumb Out of Your Ass

Then how will I keep it warm?!!!!!!

Mandos said...

1. If you don't count work reading, I just finished Terry Pratchett's Stuff, the newest. It's a Vimes novel, and therefore mostly serious. I have mixed feelings about it, even though it was very good, as usual.

2. I read the Great Brain books too. But what stuck with me more were Susan Cooper's "The Dark Is Rising" books, which to me blow Harry Potter completely out of the water, but may be dated now.

3. Hmm. This is a toughie. Once I managed to get past the initial barrier, as it's a very tough book to read, it would be C. J. Cherryh's amazing novel Cyteen, in more than one place. The decades-long psychological persecution and torment of Justin Warrick and Grant ALX has a context that is a little difficult to explain here, but Grant's impassioned defense of Justin was tear-jerker. Also Ari's horrible moment of self-realization, and Victoria Strassen's chokingly bitter/angry funeral speech and ... and ...

D'oh, gotta run before I answer the rest of the meme.

Laura said...

I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone what I'm reading at the moment. Trust me, my IQ is not going to get any higher from it.

Love the name of your self help book. I doubt many would buy it though.. ;p
All the same, I LOL'd when I read the title. :P


Glennis said...

How nice to be reminded of Lloyd Alexander books!

1) What are you reading at the moment? I'm working on two books simultaneously - Richard Russo's "Bridge of Sighs" and Martin Cruz Smith's "Stalin's Gate." I'm reading the Smith quickly becauuse it's going in a gift box to someone else.

2)As a child what did you read under the covers? - Everything. Literally. I made a weekly library trip where I took out as many books as I could stack up in front of me and carry.

3) Has a book ever made me cry? You know, that's funny, I don't think it ever has. Movies, now, and even stupid TV commercials trigger my tear-impulse, but books, even when they truly shake me to the core, don't make me cry.

4) 3 books in solitary. I know I can re-read "Confederacy of Dunces" and always find something fresh. The other two choices, I'm not sure.

5) Literary character I'd sleep with.....Because I'm reading about him now, I'd say Arkady Renko, from Martin Cruz Smith's books.

Vonnie said...

My comment went away.
Jabberwocky - I read and reread and read and reread this a million billion times.
**giggle** I am no cool kid, but I am very glad you wrote this!