The OF Blog: And a silly late-night question

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And a silly late-night question

I just finished writing the draft to a long-delayed review (to be edited and posted sometime in the next month or so, if accepted), so I have a backlog of books to review (due to me feeling guilty about not completing this one first) in the coming weeks. One book is Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth.

Would it be too much of a conceit to consider writing a review in verse of a book that was written in verse? Because part of me is tempted to break out the metres and go to town.

And in non-genre reading news: I'm getting this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to end up buying every single Milan Kundera novel available in English translation in the very near future. The Unbearable Lightness of Being was excellent when I read it a few weeks ago and 25% in, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is almost as high in quality. Just a head's up to those who might be willing to experiment with some "literary fiction" that challenges the reader to think and to feel in reaction to what is transpiring on the written page.

But damn, it's past 1:30 AM here. Alarm is set for 7:10. I'm so going to be a zombie throughout the day.


SQT said...

If you can pull off the verse I say go for it.

Sara J. said...

I second the go for it! Especially if you did verse that reflected the style of the book itself.

(Pretty soon stores will carry an OF Blog of the Fallen Magnetic Poetry box...)

Lsrry said...

Ha! :P Consider yourselves lucky that I wasn't so overconfident that I promised to do it in Spanish or Italian terza rima :P

Anonymous said...

Larry, I tried to do a review like this for a volume of SF-inspired poetry I read last year -- it is "show, don't tell" applied to reviewing. In hindsight it's one of my reviews that I'm least happy with, although that's as much because of the rather silly intro paragraph as the piece itself. And I have seen the "write the review as the book is written" thing done very well on occasion. I suppose the questions to ask are a) is the style you'd be mimicking conducive to a good review (the style of the short poems I was emulating was not, I can see now) and b) do you think you can do it well?

Lsrry said...

I know, Matt, as I was being at least half-facetious in the post itself. I have written poetry before that wasn't complete doggerel, but only just barely avoiding it. In truth, my planned review will reference three and maybe four epic poems to show how Barlow's style emulates and then departs from them. That's the style that suits me best when reviewing, that of a cultural historian, not a poet.

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