Literary Flip-Flop

The Bookends post in the NYT Book Review Section often poses some interesting questions for the two commentators to reflect on. The current question is a good one:

Which Authors Did You Have to Grow Into?

imgres.jpgLiesl Schillinger offered Ernest Hemingway as the author she disliked at first and later one was “ravished by the writing, and bewildered by my adolescent antipathy.” This is interesting to me because I had quite the opposite reaction to Hemingway: as a youth I was told Hemingway was great so I thought he was great but when I grew up I realized Hemingway (at least in his novels) was highly overrated.

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What Is Your Choice For the Best Novel of All Time?

bookwormWe’ve all heard the opinion of an avid reader who declares that such-and-such is the best novel ever written. Of course the selection is generally one of the reader’s most recent reads (if not the last book they read) and the best novel ever written has a tendency to change as more books are read. Even if this scenario is not too scientific, it also is not concerned with the best novel but more so with the most liked novel.

We generally mistake our enjoyment of a novel with the quality of a novel.

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XFX: Third Quarter Reading Announced

The Experimental Fiction group has published the suggested reading for the third quarter.

3Q13

07-01 – Plus — James McElroy
07-16 – The Origin of the Brunists — Robert Coover
08-16 – World’s End — T. Coraghessan Boyle
09-08 – The Enormous Room — E. E. Cummings

PlusPlus is a shorter work of the excellent author, James McElroy, but it is a demanding read and quite different from almost everything you might have read before. Luckily this long out-of-print work is available again from larger booksellers.

BrunistsThe Origin of the Brunists is Robert Coover’s prize-winning first novel. If you haven’t read Coover this is certainly suggested as a start, even if it is a big bite to chew.

World's EndWorld’s End is a wonderfully inventive approach to what might be called fiction with an historical basis (not historical fiction). You might think you were  reading Barth or Pynchon with this one.

Enormous RoomThe Enormous Room is an early novel by the poet E. E. Cummings. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway was not the only influential American writer to drive an ambulance during the war in Europe? Cummings and his good friend John Dos Passos both volunteered for ambulance duty during WWI.