Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lit and Me

Indiscr... Natalia Antonova has this pretty cool literary bit up on her site, which I shall steal:

1. First book to leave a lasting impression? Geez, a tough one right off the bat, so open to interpretation. I mean, I could say "The Hardy Boys and the Secret of the Old Mill" and it wouldn't be wrong, technically. But I'll go with Susan Cooper's "The Dark Is Rising" series, which effectively placed fantasy situations into the real world.

2. Which author would you most like to be? Graham Greene, minus the "dead" part. An interesting, well-lived life.

3. Name the book that has most made you want to visit a place? A few non-fiction books come to mind; Robert D. Kaplan's "Balkan Ghosts" (Balkans) and Michela Wrong's "I Didn't Do It For You" (Eritrea). Fiction? I want to visit Murakami's Japan, but I'm not totally sure it exists. Ditto Pelevin's Russia. Peter Hoeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow" made me want to visit Greenland; I'll go with that.

4. Which contemporary author will still be read in 100 years time? Hopefully many of them. I'll vote for Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez.

5. Which book would you recommend to a teenager reluctant to try ‘literature’? Haruki Murakami's "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World."

6. Name your best recent literary discovery? Richard Powers.

7. Which author’s fictional world would you most like to live in? Again, Haruki Murakami. Tailor-made for a loner, unpredictable, with beauty in small things.

8. Name your favourite poet? Uh, not terribly applicable to me. I'll vote Czeslaw Milosz, just because I think he's about the only poet whose work I own.

9. What’s the best non-fiction title you’ve read this year? "The Lost Heart of Asia," by Colin Thubron. Hauntingly beautiful travel.

10. Which author do you think is much better than his/her reputation? James Ellroy. So many people dismiss him as just pulp, but God, the man knows how to write.


Natalia said...

I think I ought to read Murakami. And Cooper. I'm really interested in the mingling of "fantasy" and "reality" (I put it in quotation marks like a true member of the cult of Nabokov), because I'm working on something similar myself.

gsdgsd13 said...

Murakami's great. I heartily recommend (since you aren't a literature-hating teenager) starting with "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" -- absolutely beautiful.

I've been thinking of Susan Cooper a lot lately, for the first time in ages -- I'd go back and read the series (what's a series of five? A quintology?) if I didn't have so damn many other things stacked up by the bed.