BTT: Lit-Ra-Chur

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From Booking Through Thursday:

  • When somebody mentions "literature," what's the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)
  • Do you read "literature" (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?

I think the first thing in my mind is the Finnish publisher literature series, mostly the Tammi's Yellow library. It's a long-standing series of translations of quality literature, Nobel prize winners and other great masters. For some reason I haven't read many of those.

I did few courses of literature in the university and those included reading some classics. So I did: Dostoyevski, Duras, Stendhal, Melville, Rabelais and others. I found many of them interesting and I fell in love with Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. I didn't fall in love with writing essays about the books, so I quit my literature studies quickly (I only took them because I thought it was appropriate for someone studying to become a librarian).

Of course, most of what I read is far from being "high literature", and I'm not ashamed to admit that. I'm a science fiction fan and that's it. However, I do appreciate books that are written well and I won't read just anything, science fiction or not. I do read what they call "literary fiction", but mostly skip the classics.

However, if a Nobelist writes something I find interesting, I'm in. Yasunari Kawabata's Master of Go was an excellent and very interesting book, for example, and I've been meaning to read Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago for who knows how long.

I read good books for enjoyment and try to avoid the bad ones - in the end it's that simple.

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This page contains a single entry by Mikko published on April 3, 2008 12:57 PM.

China MiƩville: Looking for Jake was the previous entry in this blog.

Ken MacLeod: Newton's Wake is the next entry in this blog.

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