Monday, January 10, 2011

A Booky Meme - Take it from one who doesn't have a clue

The fabulously talented David Mohan has issued the below questions for a bit of a ponder. I don't have a huge amount of reading done, or indeed know anything much about what counts as a classic, but not knowing about stuff has never stopped me yabbering on about stuff before - so here's my tuppence:

1.Name some lost classics – books you love that you feel are undervalued or have been neglected.

Elizabeth Bowen's House in Paris is one I found amazing - exciting and dramatic, written in 1935 - is that old enough?
The Neverending Story too was a really great and memorable read, and I know the film will always have a place in the special shelf, but I'd say too few people get that step further to the pen and ink version.
(Is two some? this is hard)

2.Name the ‘great’ books you feel are overrated.

Great books? Maybe On the Road was a little too hyped by the time I got round to it, same goes for In Cold Blood - otherwise I tend to find old books survive for a reason.
Actually, now that I think about it Socrates discourses were a bit wordy and not very easy to get into (he'd never get published nowadays), but then that's not really a novel.

3. Name authors/books you feel are this age’s future classics. Books and authors that best speak our times and/or are just pure quality.

Jennifer Johnston is a pure pure genius. Colum McCann is getting there, but not fully there yet (I'm sure he'll be thrilled to hear I think he's getting there though). Paul Murray is really high quality and speaks very much from our times.

David's original post is here for those of ye who'd like to read a bit about it from someone who actually does know something about it.


dublindave said...

This is a great list.

I heard only good things about Elizabeth Bowen but I haven't read her yet myself. I read an account of The House in Paris by A. S. Byatt where she gives it high praise.

Socrates - lol - I don't know what to say about him.

I didn't enjoy On the Road either.

Good choices for future classics too. They all seem to be ambitious writers.

Rachel Fox said...

I was at school with one of J Johnston's kids for a while!

And I agree... this is a meme that might need some preparation!


Niamh B said...

Tks Dave - challenging questions, do you like my in joke with Colum McCann, I'm fairly convinced he reads this blog RELIGIOUSLY, though he'd never admit it.

Rachel - it would have needed preparation to do it properly, I think I just waffled it really. That's mad about JJ's family connection - small world - how were they at English? Bet they were top of the class all the time?!

Dominic Rivron said...

Interesting. Sadly for Jack K, On the Road often gets dissed. I must say I found it unreadable.

As for neglected books, there's always The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish.

Niamh B said...

I'm sure Jack K doesn't mind that much, there must be a million others for all the naysayers that say the opposite.
That's interesting about Margaret too, funnily my guest on this Sunday's scrapbook is discussing utopia in literature.
Thanks Dom