The OF Blog: Lists of five

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Lists of five

Here's a little activity that can amuse you and others who choose to respond to it (I'll post mine later).  What you do is this:  In the comments, list five favorites in the categories listed below.  Might remind you of a half-forgotten favorite or you might discover something new from another's response.  Here are the categories:

Five (American) Southern Authors

Five Female Authors

Five Novels That Deal With Social Concerns

Five Novels That You Plan On Reading Soon

Five Novels You Read In The Past Two Years That You Would Re-Read In The Next Two

Five Books That Taught You Something About Life

Five Books That Deserve To Be Considered "Classics"

If you can't answer five in each category, that's OK.  Just want to see what titles are listed and if any are worth looking into the next time I go book shopping. 


Jason said...

OK, I'll play.

-- Faulkner
-- O'Connor

-- Byatt (top 3 favorite authors ever)
-- Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum)
-- Munroe

Planing on Reading Soon:
-- The 1000 Autumns... (David Mitchell)
-- Book of the Long Sun
-- Inherent Vice (Pynchon)
-- Return of the Native
-- Oliver Twist

Read in last 2y; might re-read in next
-- Book of the New Sun (after I've gotten over, like Charles Kimbote in Pale Fire, my initial disappointment)
-- Butterfly Stories (William Vollmann)
-- John's Wife (Coover)

Taught Something About Life:
-- The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (Kazantzakis)
-- Ulysses (Taught how to recognize fundamentally decent people who abhor cruelty, like Bloom)
-- Proust (Taught that things change)
-- Beckett ("Nothing is funnier than misery")

Deserve to be Classics:
-- Infinite Jest
-- The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (Kazantzakis's masterpiece, labored over for twelve years. Beautiful and barbaric. Nothing else like it. Now it sits in obscurity, out of print.)

Jason said...

No one else?

Well, let me take the opportunity to say more explicitly (as if not clear from my previous comment): I highly recommend Kazantzakis's epic 33,333-line poem. To whet your appetite, here are the opening lines. The action picks up right when the original Odyssey ends (suitors slain).

And when in his wide courtyards Odysseus had cut down
the insolent youths, he hung on high his sated bow
and strode to the warm bath to cleanse his bloodstained body.
Two slaves prepared his bath, but when they saw their lord
they shrieked with terror, for his loins and belly steamed
and thick black blood dripped down from both his murderous palms;
their copper jugs rolled clanging on the marble tiles.
The wandering man smiled gently in his thorny beard
and with his eyebrows signed the frightened girls to go.
For hours he washed himself in the warm water, his veins
spread out like rivers in his body, his loins cooled,
and his great mind was in the waters cleansed and calmed...

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