Books with preconceptions:
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift : I have heard quite a lot about this book. Apparently, the book capitalises nouns differently than we do at present. It, so have I heard, follows closer to a German tradition. If this be true, I love it already. The book also comes up often in fantasy discussions. I tend to love pre-Tolkien fantasy — although I do adore Tolkien, truly. I want to be a contemporary version of him when I age. — for its collective nonchalant approach to magic, and fantastical elements. Jonathan Swift also wrote one of my favourite short stories: A Modest Proposal. I could gorge myself on his satire. I think Gulliver’s Travels has a part where he meets lemmings — or, something like that — where there are half of the size of humans. Tolkien used the word for hobbit in the original one. I have the annotated The Hobbit, so I remember vaguely that mentioning. I am not sure if this be the same scene as the one where there are minute people tying, I presume, Gulliver down. I, as a writer, will be taking notes throughout this novel. I do worry about the plot structure as earlier novels varied considerably. It seems they either take proportionally large amount of time to reach the plot — Wuthering Heights, which will not be on this list because I read it way too often —, or those who are fully racehorse-rapid plot — Jane Eyre, which will be on this list because my friends will not shut up about it —.
Heptameron – Marguerite de Navarre : My French professor did her master’s thesis on de Navarre. I have like 12 copies of this book, and 12 other books about this book. I have never read it, and I am reading it after Les Miserables because I want that book to be my first French classic. I believe that it is based on another book, Decameron, which is about 10 days whilst this is about 7, I believe. I am expecting a few traditional French themes: 1) class struggle, 2) disenchanted love, 3) the Catholic church, and because she is female at a certain time, 4) the plight of women in her time. I am anxious to read this. I am not sure if I will catch some of the grammar intricacies, but I am certainly going to try.
Iliad – Homer : I hate this book. I have been trying to finish it for ages. I need a different translation, I believe. The translator uses ‘god’ a lot. The Ancient Grecians were not monotheistic, so it pisses me off to no end every time. It just layers on itself. I, also, am more of a Doric Greek fan — Tsakonian is a beautiful language, and I want to know it — whilst Homer is pure Ionic Greek. Okay, well, it is not pure Ionic. It is pretty damn close though. He is just disrespectful to goddesses except Athena. Hera is a bitch. Aphrodite is weak. Artemis just needs a man. He is just so dismissive of them. Ugh. Anyway, I need to finish it, so I am going to do it.
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë : I know a bit from friends, S.S. Trantham, is a huge fan of this work. My roommate, S. Kay Smith, also enjoyed it in a way. I have tried to read it. One of my English professors, she a Victorian specialist but adored the Brontës, said that everyone enjoyed one of the sisters, but very few truly enjoy more than one. I am expecting to respect this novel, but not enjoy it. Wuthering Heights is too close to my heart. I will read it with an open, if trepid, heart…mainly because there is something about locking a woman in the attic.
Kristin Lavransdatter – John Ruskin: I need to read a Norwegian book — not in the original Norwegian though. I am not confident enough, yet. I have to get through Jernalderdrøm first. —, and this one was recommended. It came out much later than most of my books for the reading challenge. 1922 was its debut. I am anxious to read this because I read the synopsis — 14th century girl deals with coming of age, and life thereafter —, and it sounded like a novel I read in 7th grade in Ms. Gore history class, or was it English? I hope that it is the same novel, for I rather liked it, and it would be hilariously convenient for it to be; however, I am aware that it will probably not be. The development though is that I thought it was one book called Kristin Lavransdatter: it is not. The saga is called that, and so I have to read the whole saga — it seems to be like The Forsyte Saga versus A Man of Property —. Over 1 000 pages worth of commentary coming to you!
Leviathan – Thomas Hobbes : Another book that my lovely professor gave me — I am not sure if I explained her gift before. Basically, for my graduation gift, as I want to be a professor/scholar in the future, she bequeathed me her entire master’s, and doctoral library. It filled an entire backseat of a car. It has been the most expensive gift that I probably have ever received: easily together those books are worth thousands —. I think that it debates humanity. I know very little of it…the book, not humanity. I believe that it will juxtapose the leviathan myth with either: A) mankind’s inability to be good 100% of the time, B) mankind’s obsession with order when we are by nature chaotic creatures. It also seems the type of book everyone has discussed, but I do not know if I ken a single person who has read it. I am in the dark with this one.
In short, this is a week of getting through horrid renditions of goddesses, a woman in an attic, some kind of monster, and, overall, a few travels into the world of fantasy. Follow me to see where it goes.
Be safe. Be loved.