Grayswandir (_grayswandir_) wrote,

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A somewhat more general literature-themed post.

I finally watched "The Crooked Man," after waiting as long as I could (and watching "The Naval Treaty" a second time with my sister). Not bad. I mean, it wasn't much of a mystery, like, at all -- but that's Doyle's fault.

Watson was better in this one, on the whole, although he had a few moments of headdesk-inducing idiocy right in the middle. I'm starting to get the impression that Watson is just there to keep people from getting too irritated at Holmes' utter disregard for social etiquette. Holmes almost never greets anyone, shakes hands, acknowledges gratitude, or anything of the kind. Luckily, Watson is there to be polite for him.

Anyway, the last scene was pretty adorable. :D

And from hamsterwoman: 1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

Nope. I honestly have no idea what got me into reading. As far as I remember, my dad talked to me about nearly everything, from science to philosophy to religion to art... except for literature. We didn't have novels around the house, and we almost never went to the library. I always loved reading at school, but still I think it surprised my parents a little when I got to be thirteen or fourteen and suddenly became obsessed with literature. It wasn't something they'd reinforced. I do remember my dad talking to me about Shakespeare, and how he thought Julius Caesar was one of the greatest things ever written, but he had found the Elizabethan style very hard to read at first. I remember thinking that was strange, because I never found Shakespeare hard to read.

Anyway, I guess the books that made me really love literature -- not just enjoy the act of reading, but love the idea of literature, as an art -- were Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. Zelazny introduced me to the first set of characters I ever really loved, and Hugo introduced me to literature as a means to philosophy, psychology, history... I guess he showed me for the first time that literature wasn't just for fun: it could mean something, too.

2. What are some books you read as a child?

The Black Stallion and its numerous sequels were my favorite books, between third and fifth grade. I also loved The Giver and was rather fond of The Egypt Game. And for some reason I really liked this book called Dragon's Milk, which I became obsessed with after attempting to read it in third grade and finding it too hard. Next year we moved to Hawaii, so it wasn't until fifth grade, when we moved back to Phoenix again, that I was able to read it at last.

3. What is your favorite genre?

I don't really think of "classics" as a genre, but I guess that's my best option. What I mean by "classics," though, is books whose stories are so universal, or so timeless, that decades or centuries after their publication, they're still as vital as they were the day they were published. Whether they're fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or something else entirely, is immaterial. I think every genre is capable of producing enduring pieces of literature.

4. Do you have a favorite novel?

Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre-Dame. And second place goes to Moby Dick, I think. My favorite novelist overall, though, is Fyodor Dostoevsky.

5. Where do you usually read?

Lately, on the ground in a concrete hallway near the philosophy building at ASU. Last year -- in the break room at work, or at my desk.

Otherwise, on the living room couch, or my bed, or... well, hell, almost anywhere quiet. I read most of Atlas Shrugged in the back yard, with the goats. :)

6. When do you usually read?

When I have spare time, but not enough of it (or the right conditions) to get any writing/editing/outlining done.

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

Pretty much always. Though sometimes some of the books I'm "still reading" are books I haven't actually picked up in several months.

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

Nietzsche's philosophy works are pretty much the only nonfiction I read for fun... I read those the same way I read any non-trivial literature, like Dostoevsky or Joyce or Shakespeare, which is to say, I read such books only when I know I'll have time to think seriously about what I'm reading.

Other than Nietzsche, though, I only read nonfiction books for research purposes, so I usually read them at my desk, in order to take notes about them as I go.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

Buy them. I only read books that have either been recommended to me very strongly, or that are such "classics" that, whether or not I end up enjoying them, I feel my collection will be improved by their addition.

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy?

See above. I wouldn't buy them at all unless I was pretty damn sure I was going to want to keep them. (And I wouldn't read them unless I considered them worth buying.)

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them?

I don't have children, but if I did, I'd want them to at least try out the Harry Potter books, The Black Stallion, and The Devil's Storybook, which is the most delightfully subversive children's book ever. XD

(As for the kids I teach at work, sheez, I'd be happy if they'd just read the papers we give them during class...)

12. What are you reading now?

His Last Bow, of the Sherlock Holmes series. I think I've actually read all of the stories in this book before, except for "His Last Bow" itself. But I'm reading it over from the start anyway.

I'm also still somewhere in the middle of The Red and the Black, The House of the Seven Gables, and some other books that I haven't picked up in so long that I should probably just start back at the beginning.

13. Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?

Not a physical list, no, but certainly a mental one. Right now it consists mostly of books zinniazayda recommended to me, and all the books on my shelves that I've been meaning to read for years anyway...

14. What's next?

The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, if my current obsesssion holds out, or else either The Autumn of the Patriarch (Marquez) or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Chabon). Or Dracula, because Halloween is coming up and I've still never read that one.

15. What books would you like to reread?

Like hamsterwoman, I rarely reread entire books, though I often reread random passages. I think the only novels I've read multiple times are The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oh, and Lord of the Rings.

If I had the time, though, I'd read Moby Dick again, and Dostoevsky's The Idiot, and pretty much everything I've read of Nietzsche's. And The Chronicles of Amber. I kind of really, really ought to read those again.

16. Who are your favorite authors?

Heh. Well, obviously, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Victor Hugo, Friedrich Nietzsche. James Joyce. Herman Melville. Also Oscar Wilde, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Roger Zelazny, J.R.R. Tolkien. Shakespeare, Stoppard. Probably Ayn Rand. Denis Diderot. William Blake. God, what an ecclectic lot...
Tags: authors, books, literature, memes, sherlock holmes, shows

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