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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

It's that time again ...
When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?) Um. My Modernist Fiction lecture at university. Seriously. Or poncy, incomprehensible novels that everyone pretends to have read and enjoyed but really hated _ or didn't read at all, because they made their ears bleed.


Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must? If we're talking poncy novels, then no. I don't categorise what I read for pleasure by that standard. All a book has to have to hook me, is a good, readable story. Also, I'm a bit of an eclectic reader. Right now, my reading list consists of Duma Key by Stephen King, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens and Mister B Gone by Clive Barker. So I don't read literature on purpose. Not at all, if I can help it.

12 comments:

Jennifer said...

I tend to agree... I wouldn't be surprised if "literature" isn't enjoyed nearly as much as it wants us to think. For pleasure reading, I'll take a story and a world I can get immersed in over clever language any day. Still, the clever language can be interesting. :)

Maree said...

I don't mind clever language. As long as they're not trying to be clever, which is a different thing.

joanna said...

Ha ha, this isn't exactly an on-topic comment, but 'poncy' is one of my favorite words - it always makes me smile! ;-)
Hmm... I hope I'm not the only one who likes certain words more than others!

And I agree - pretentious people who are trying to be clever are the worst!

gautami tripathy said...

Like you, I too have ecclectic taste in books!

Here is my BTT post!

Chris said...

I enjoy all kinds of books, even the poncy ones!

Lesley said...

I'm honestly amazed that you don't class all of those books you're reading as literature.
To me, it's all just that. Then comes the fun bit of sorting the wheat from the chaff!
Thanks for dropping by my earlier BTTS. I've been away from a computer for a while and haven't been able to return the visit.

Maree said...

"Poncy" is one of those great words that conveys oh, so much.
Lesley: I don't class them as literature, by my definition; ie _ books that would make your ears bleed. I class them as great reads by artists with the written word. :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

But Garcia Marquez and Dickens ARE what I'd consider literature!

Of course, Garcia Marquez, at least, is a favorite of mine, too. One Hundred Years of Solitude was so achingly beautiful that even now, over fifteen years after I first read it (holy hell, am I that old??), its memory still makes me ache.

I love your comment about how people pretend to read stuff, or else it made their ears bleed. Beautifully put!

Maree said...

I consider them classic writers; rather than literature in the sense that I blogged about.
And ohmygosh ... One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my all-time favourite books.

Trisha said...

You're right...Our responses are similar. And I liked your use of poncy as well, lol. It's not a word that you hear very often but it has kick to it. ;)

Happy BTT.

Paula Weston said...

Poncy is definitely a word reviewers should use more often...

Seriously, I wonder how many people read certain books because they feel they "should", not because they want to.

I read recently that "readers, by nature, are not prone to talking about what they haven't read. Gaps in our reading are among our most closely guarded secrets."

I think it's time we rose above the shackles of literary snobbery and just read what we want, and not feel pressure to tackle the "should read" books. Life's just too short!

Aria said...

"Poncy." I don't know that I have ever heard that word before but I kind of like it. As for pretentious literature, I always wonder who has actually read it and who is pretending to read it for social/intellectual status.