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Topic: classic reading for September

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Subject: classic reading for September
Date Posted: 9/2/2012 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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How is your classics challenge coming along? I just finished Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop and was underwhelmed.

Now I am reading a biography about Flannery O'Connor (Brad Gooch's Flannery); I love O'Connor and I love this book!

Before you know it, it'll be time to think of next year's challenge. A question I'll be asking in December is which books, in your opinion, were the best and worst from your personal challenge.

Happy reading!

                                                                                                                               Rose

Date Posted: 9/2/2012 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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This month I'd like to get to my buldungsroman (Of Human Bondage) and my noir (Farewell My Lovely).  I'll definitely get to one.

What categories can you think of for next year that haven't already been done?  I can't think of many, although I've got plenty of classics on my TBR.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 1:02 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I am reading Willa Cather's A Lost Lady. I think it might be a novella at 150 long.

It just arrived in the mail today.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 1:08 AM ET
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What categories can you think of for next year that haven't already been done? 

I honestly cannot think of a category that we haven't done.  We need more esoteric ideas along the lines of belle epoque (never heard of this category until it was recommended) and noir and buldingsroman.

I thinking about doing, perhaps, an alphabetical classics list: A is for "All the Kings Men," B is for "Babbit, "C is for Canterbury Tales" and so forth. 

or what we've been leaning into this year and that's making selections from an agreed upon list.

 

and have we done

Russian lit? I haven't read anything Russian except for the beginning of "Anna Karenina." There's got to be better stuff. I'd settle for Chekov's short stories.

What about Black/ African American lit? There are tons of books I'd love to read. I don't remember ever doing this category. Of course I am almost out of Ernie Gaines novels to read but I haven't read "The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison yet. 

and there are really good "feminist" lit books out there too. I have yet to read "The Awakening."

 

 

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 9/11/12 1:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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I would love to include the categories mentioned above (Russian, black/American, feminist). I know we still have a while, but I'd like to present a tentative list by mid-October. 

Anyone else have suggestions for 2013?

                                                                                                                                           Rose

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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I second the categories above (Russian, feminist, black author).

Other ideas:  Are there enough books to choose from to include magic realism as a genre? Have we done classic love story as a category? How about a famous author's less famous work? A modern classic (1940-1980?) And just for kicks- how about classic erotica?



Last Edited on: 9/11/12 12:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 12:48 PM ET
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I like the modern classic category

I also liket he magic realism category but I don't know if there are enough classic magic realism choices. Most of the works don't seem older than 50 years unless you want to tackle "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka. Egads! or Gabriel Garcia Marquez is stuff.

Being a total prude, I'll personally be passing on erotica, but if ya'll are into that that's fine because there is plenty to chose from.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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We did dystopain lit, but we haven't done utopian.

Other categories:

Ghost story

folklore and fairy tales

travel writing

banned books!  (I like this one)

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Well, I won't read bona fide "erotica", but hearing that suggestion reminded me of a category that could be called "gonzo" writing, I suppose.  That is, if stuff like William Burroughs would fall under that heading . . .

I consider The House of the Spirits (La Casa de Los Espíritus), by Isabel Allende, to be a Magical Realism-type novel.

How about a GLBT category?  Would any of you like an old, beat-up copy of The Well of Loneliness, by Radclyffe Hall, that I have out in my garage in Ohio?

A Russian writer I have rather liked was Nikolai Gogol . . . read his The Overcoat (a short story) to help decide whether you'd like to read a novel of his.

There could be a category of writers who wrote, for some reason or other, under "noms de plume".

I like the way a tentative list is shaping up.  Thanks to those who gave it some thought.



Last Edited on: 9/11/12 2:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 9/11/2012 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Would anyone be interested in including classic espionage novels as a category?  You could include anything from Baroness Orczy to John le Carre.

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 7:21 PM ET
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Seven Spiders:  and Graham Greene?  and Ian Fleming?

Date Posted: 9/11/2012 10:34 PM ET
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nom de plumeyes

espionage/spy yes

Date Posted: 9/12/2012 5:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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TomeTrader, you have spectacular ideas!

                                                       Rose

Date Posted: 9/13/2012 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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How about a spiritual classic?  From whatever spiritual walk strikes your fancy; the Ramayana, Pilgrim's Progress, Paradise Lost...

Date Posted: 9/13/2012 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Wow................a few more of these interesting ideas, and we will have ourselves a "veritable plethora" of choices!

Date Posted: 9/13/2012 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Just finished reading She by H Rider Haggard, a classic I scheduled for the fantasy challenge.  What a read!  It's creative and quite interesting and was written before 1900.  I try not to double up on reads for any of the challenges in wich I participate but sometimes I lose track when I make changes.  Finished The Matese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, American noir, an interesting read reflecting the mores of the time!.



Last Edited on: 9/14/12 10:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: 2013 Categories
Date Posted: 9/14/2012 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
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I don't have any new categories to add at this point, but I'd like to second the motion for some that popped out at me:

Writers who wrote under noms de plumes  (Thanks, Bonnie!)

Banned books  (Thanks, Tome Trader!)

Spiritual Classics  (Thanks, Seven Spiders!)

Alphabetical Classics (Thanks, Tome Trader!)  Reading or finding 26 might be hard, but we could maybe choose letters from our initials for starters.

Date Posted: 9/14/2012 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Thank you Rose (blush).

 

Speaking of banned books. Did you know that there are so many banned or challenged books that we could compile our reading list from just them alone?

This is something I think I am going to do regardless of votes. I think I could find a banned book in almost any category we come up with. Isn't that sad?

 

Did you also know that even the dictionary has been banned? 

Date Posted: 9/15/2012 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
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I'm seeing some interesting categories. As for Magic Realism, there are several classics in addition to the above mentioned:

Borges. Labyrinths or his Collected fictions

Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (can double as Russian), and Bulgakov wrote other works that could be called magic realism

Alejo Carpentier. The Kingdom of this World

Angela Carter -- many works by her,  including The Magic Toyshop

Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

 

And while folks may not want to read erotica as a category, we might consider expanding the term to Passion -- which could cover erotica and much more.

Or how about Obscession? Lots of possibilities there, including Lord of the Rings, Moby Dick, much of Shakespeare, Greek tragedies and more...

Or how about a category having to do with a form of transportation. Could have sea stories, trains, covered wagons, etc. Actually, the travel category might suffice here.

 

Janet E

 

Date Posted: 9/15/2012 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Oooo! Obsession is a good one!

And so is transportation. I'd like to read a classic with a ghost train, but it'll probably wind up being a western. 

Date Posted: 9/15/2012 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Some time we should probably consider a category that could be called "Post-Colonial Lit".    The way I'm using the term, primarily,  is to designate that interesting body of literary works written in English by natives of countries that were colonies (or dominions, or protectorates, or something) of Great Britain, and ultimately became independent of the "Mother Country".  So, one would read not only Canadian and Australian and New Zealand authors, but writers from Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, and India, Trinidad, etc.  Of course, an even broader definition would include those "new" nations that were formerly colonies of European nations such as Germany, Belgiuim, Portugal, Italy, and France. 

(When I was teaching ESOL, I would occasionally have an older student from Africa or Vietnam who would speak French.   Once, I had a Frenchwoman and a Vietnamese woman in the same class, and they did not realize they could talk together until, in my halting French, I introduced them to one another.  Being able to talk together created a bond of friendship for them in the new , foreign country, the U.S.A.)

Those of us who read in English owe a big debt of gratitude to that cadre of fluent translators who turn those wonderful novels and stories written in Russian, German, Czech, French, Italian, Greek, and Japanese and Chinese, etc. into English.   Were it not for them, we would not have access to writers such as Tolstoy, Dante, Flaubert, and . . . . . well, you name the ones you esteem highest.



Last Edited on: 9/15/12 7:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/20/2012 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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While reading about the bildungroman genre I came across this: Künstlerroman a novel about an artist's growth to maturity; including

  • The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe
  • Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  • Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
  • Demain by Herman Hesse
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

and lots more.  Very similar to bildungsroman, but maybe worth considering for 2013.

Date Posted: 9/21/2012 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 87
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Would this work as a category: reading a book by an author that inspired a classic work? It could be a pretty broad category, allowing for both nonfiction and fiction. It could encompass anything from ancient authors to Freud. 

Date Posted: 9/21/2012 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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I don't quite follow Caralen, you mean like reading Ulysses because it was inspired by The Odyssey?  Or vice versa?

Date Posted: 9/21/2012 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
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I was originally thinking about it the other way (reading The Odyssey because it inspired Ulysses), but I wouldn't have a problem with it going both ways. Originally, what got me thinking about this category was someone mentioned earlier (I thought it was here) Willa Cather's Lost Lady was inspired by Flaubert's Madame Bovary. So it got me to thinking about how different books I've read are influenced by earlier works. For example, when I finished The Hobbit earlier this month for the classic fantasy challenge, I had no idea how much Tolkien had been influenced by Beowulf.



Last Edited on: 9/21/12 4:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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