Friday Links 11/17

zeb

I woke up too early for no reason so here’s a links post, on time for once!

Sorry for using up all of your free NYT articles!

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The Runt of the Literature

Ayyy, get it? It’s like ‘runt of the litter’, but books and the written word, so literature.
…I’ll see myself out.

Having recently written about my favorite standout works from amazing authors, I decided it was time to do the opposite.  That is, rudely single out my least favorite works by some of my best-beloved authors. Blasphemy.

I think my greatest hope, when I write about books, is that people will be inspired to feel like the classics are less remote.  It’s logical that, looking at the whole of the history of writing and authorship, you can find better pieces than were published in the past five or ten years.  For me personally, writing styles from longer ago are more pleasing than current writing (again, speaking very generally).  But I do think that we have a tendency to venerate classic literature kind of excessively.  Which makes people hesitant to read it and interact with it.  They’re just books like any other, and books are there for people to read and enjoy.  A book should never make you feel bad, and you should never feel ‘unworthy’ of a book or guilty for having a negative opinion about one.  It’s like trying on clothes.  If you try on something that doesn’t fit, it’s the clothing that doesn’t fit you, not you who doesn’t fit the clothing.

Okay, rant over.  Here’s a collection of books from my favorite authors who can by and large do no wrong.  And these are examples of the doing wrong (again, by me).  Books that I am perfectly content to not like.

Continue reading “The Runt of the Literature”

Eleven Links//Eleventh Month

virginia-woolf

For my first November link drop, it would seem that I have eleven to share.  This wasn’t practiced or deliberate or anything- I just needed a snazzy title for the post so I figured it I counted the links maybe I could come up with something. Lo and behold, eleven.

Just goes to show, sometimes things are as easy as 1, 2, 3.
But yeah, rarely. Continue reading “Eleven Links//Eleventh Month”

My Favorite Authors

What qualifies an author to be counted among my favorites?
I have very high standards, as befits such a coveted distinction.  You know Orwell is just rolling over in his grave because he’s not on here.

It’s a fairly simple standard actually: if a book is written by one of these authors, I don’t have to worry too much about the risk of disliking it… because I generally won’t.

So in no particular order:

 

Henry James

The first book I read by Henry James was The Portrait of a Lady and it took me so long to begin because the first sentence was so convoluted I was terrified. But it’s an absolutely beautiful book, as are most of his novels and short stories.

Continue reading “My Favorite Authors”