Literature Lunes (that's Monday in Spanish in case you didn't know) sure beats Miserable Monday!!!
Shakespeare & Company
On my recent European adventure, one of my absolute favorite things was my visit to Shakespeare & Co. While I was there I discovered a book about the store written by none other than Sylvia Beach herself. I was so excited that I read the entire book on my first plane ride home.
The book is a memoir of the beginning of the lending library that lived from 1919 to 1941. (A new Shakespeare & Co. was opened by George Whitman in the 1960's.) Sylvia Beach was a part of the "Lost Generation" literary circle and was in close contact with writers like James Joyce (she published Ulysses when no one else would), Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford, Ezra Pound, and much more.
This book is a wonderful inspiration for me. It includes literature, living abroad, exploring society, friendships, and more. All things I would love in my life.
I can't find the book online but here is the website...
Fight Club is a completely different genre for my Classics-loving self. I did, however, enjoy reading this. It is a difficult book to stomach at times, but its ideas provoke further thought and discussion. The main focus is on the working class folks, who are the "middle children" of society, and their existential struggles to find meaning in their lives.
Originally written as a short story, Palahniuk said he extended it into a book by simply adding stories he heard in his own life and cutting from scene to scene revealing details that eventually add up to a full picture.
The style and themes are unique, but it does get rather repetitive at points. This would be an excellent book for many youth of the current generations: it is easy and fast to read and generally keeps your interest. I, however, would not classify it as an outstanding piece of literature. But then again, I don't always fit in with my generation...
The Kreutzer Sonata
Love, love, love. Not only did I love this book, but it also is about love. A part of Penguin Books' Great Loves collection, this story written in 1800's Russia exposes issues that are so similar to current society it is incredible.
A three day train ride provides an intimate setting for the characters in this story to grow in their understanding of each other. These characters discuss and debate the meaning of love, the current state of marriage in society, gender roles, and more.
Pozdnyshev's, the main character, struggles and conclusions about these topics are simply put, real.
For example, when debating what "love" really means, an opponent defines it as preference for one person above others. Pozdnyshev's response is:
'But that only happens in novels, not in real life. In real life a preference like that lasts maybe a year, but that's very rare; more often it's a few months, or weeks, or days, or hours,' he said, evidently aware that this opinion would shock everyone, and pleased at the result. (14)
Just read it already! It's definitely worth it.
Reading in progress:
Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse
The Gentle Spirit by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
If only school didn't take up so much time, or better yet was only about literature!!!