Books with preconceptions:
Awakening,The -Kate Chopin: I read this in high school, and it is on the Western Canon. I knew that I needed to revisit this book as an adult male feminist — as opposed to an adolescent boy feminist. I want to capture more of her, Chopin’s, essence. Too many times I am told, as a male, that which I should believe about historical women by contemporary women. I want Chopin to tell me. I know that it will be hard as Chopin was very Southern, and the book is very Cajun. I am neither of those. I want this to be an awakening of understanding of older cultures, and contemporary cultures that deserve to be protected, and a woman who deserves to be heard.
Beowulf: I was originally going to read another book; however, it was atrocious. I could not get through the first section. I had to change. I will read it later. Beowulf, on the other hand, has intrigued me for years. It is in Old English — a language for which I have a weakness. I want to enjoy the history of Northern Europe. I want to read all the Germanic classics, so I might as well start now. The book which I own, she includes information about the archaeological artefacts around the time. She was actually for a birthday present for a friend which I have not seen in years. Shhh. I have an inkling that this will be connected to Hamlet, but that could just because it is Denmark in an English work.
Cold Comfort Farm -Stella Gibbons: I have a weird relationship with the film. I saw it when I had an insomniac attack, and it was on CineMax, or HBO when I was around 11. I saw the last few scenes. I stopped on the channel because someone was reading cards. I thought that they were Tarot, but I only saw a bit before the next scene, and was completely lost. It was years before I found the film — as I had to watch the vast majority of it to get to that scene —, and a little longer before I found out that it was a book. I know that the book is a comic take on the dominant school of writing. I, as an aspiring author who does not conform to ‘mainstream’ literature, am anxious to see how Gibbons pulls it off. Will I enjoy the humour as I do in the film? Will it come across as cliché as I am decades removed? Will it be racist? Sexist? I am worried that I will be offended by my contemporary sensibilities that the art that made it famous will be obscured. At the same time, I am anxious to see the characters as they were originally.
Dracula -Bram Stoker: It is Dracula. I have a lot riding on this as I do love vampires. I am expecting platitudes of darkness, and horror. I want it to be more gruesome to read than the films, or spin-offs. At the same time, I want Irish identity of the time to come through. I want to love this book, so I dread reading it. Please, I beg of the Universe for this to be good. Update: It was not. I have to abandon this to finish the last few books. This book will have to wait for next year. I, however, have chosen a book called Duchess of Aquitaine by Margaret Bald. I read it once upon a time. I vaguely recall it as popular literature, but there is something that attracts me again (besides that it concerns Queen Eleanor, my favourite queen of all time).
Étranger,L’ –Albert Camus: The first of three — I believe — French novels that I will read in French, so they will count towards The Western Canon. I hate Camus. I am going to be honest. I am picking this, so I can strike it off. I remember starting it in a French course, probably 20th Century French Studies which was my least favourite French class that I have ever taken, but I never finished it. I am beyond contempt with this style of literature. Who knows, though? I could change my mind. I think that it is about a guy who comes into a town, and kills someone.
Fractions of Existence -J. Lenni Dorner: One did not think that I would not read my friend’s book? He recommended the challenge to me. How could I not? I, also, want to incorporate a few contemporary novels to balance out The Western Canon with, I suppose, “The Western Tradition”. Urban fantasy is the first genre that I read when I was growing up that I wanted to read. I left reading for a year, or so due to major depression. Urban fantasy picked me up. I do have to honour The Women of the Otherworld series for doing it. I just hope that my friend lives up to my love of the genre. Our friendship rides on it.
I jest, of course.
Or, do I?
With the title, I wonder if it concern a scientific magic? It could be people split into multiple bodies. It also could be a multi-verse based book. All of those sound amazing, and I am anxious to read it.
In other words, this week starts off with feminism, and ends with science…I think. We do take a dip into sexism, and murder. It is going to be a bloody good ride, though. Follow me to see it.
Be safe. Be loved.