Sunday, June 19, 2011


I am down with some relatively minor digestive woes that combined with the extreme sleepiness I'm feeling lend me to believe it to be viral in nature.  That and the fact that no one else is down - thank goodness -


A grump.

I am lying in bed and on the shelf across from me I can see two books.  Well, rather more than two books, but two books in particular have gotten me thinking.

One is by Orhan Pamuk.  Ya know?  He's a really acclaimed writer, I'm pretty sure he's won some prizes and everything, I see his books in lots of stores, and translated, but ya know what?  I don't know ANYONE who likes them.  Dull, dreary and heavy-handed.  It is like we are reading them because the various institutions have deemed them to have literary merit, but know what?  I think that emperor has no clothes and the books suck.  Correct me if you think I'm wrong, I am dying with curiosity to discover anyone who liked them.

The other is called 'The Art of the Personal Essay' by Phillip Lopate.  The man, or his publisher, is lying.  There is nothing in the book about the art of the personal essay.  The title should be, 'A chronological anthology of the personal essay with an introduction by the anthologist '  that would have been accurate.  Not what I was aiming for when I purchased the book, indeed I would not have purchased a book by that title, but at this point I feel lied to.  There wasn't even an effort to put the essays into thematic sections.  Nope.  Chronological. How dull can it be.  I doubt I will ever read it, such is my disappointment.

On another, and perversely depressing note, while searching for the job title of a person who assembles an anthology, I went to the ever reliable Norton Anthology site, and know what?  They have audio recordings of some bits and pieces of the works!  COOL!  Though I find this perversely depressing because I realise that I am slamming two paper books and singing the praises of an online site.

Seems heretical.


thecatalanway said...

So I just looked up Orhan Pamuk as I wasn't sure if I knew him or not. there is a book on my shelf at home in Cornwall that i was supposed to read for book group and never managed to get past the first page. But I'm not sure it was him - if not then another with a similar name and not a brilliant writer. It is so annoying to have bought a book and find it disappointing. I hate leaving things unread but like the many clothes bought and never worn I'm afraid there are books which I should just chuck out in my shelves. Here less so - I am more fussy and probably less adventurous. Good news about the Norton site _ I will look it up. I had the Norton anthologies at university as my standard texts for English literature but didn't know there was a web site.
And lastly - sorry you're poorly - enjoy a slighty cloudy and chilly day just doing little more than looking after yourself. And hope you feel better soon
love Kate x

Nomad said...

Ok...well it figures, but I have read Istanbul, and I really really liked it! Of course I was IN Istanbul at the time, so what with the crumbling romance of the city surrounding me, it helps...
His other books, I have no idea. Istanbul (both city and book) still haunt me from time to time...

K...Still entrenched in my Oxford Critical Reading and Writing course, and though it is a fair load of work, I am loving it! highly recommended. The reason I mention it, is one of the course books is "Studying Literature" The Essential Companion, (Goring, Hawthorn, Mitchell) and strangely, just before pulling up your site and reading your comment, I was just going through our reading for the week, all about structuring an essay -from a very different and interesting angle. I might recommend it... not sure what you are after though...

DO hope your tummy feels better soon!
Lemon juice helps if it is a bug..

XX Nomad

oreneta said...

Kate...judging by the lack of comments seems not too many have read and loved, or loathed, him. I get more books I don't want to read here, a mixture of desperation and buying on line. I find I buy more duds that way when I cannot go through them so closely. Doing better today, thanks.

Nomad, I am feeling somewhat better. Youngest made me lemonaid which was lovely. Glad to hear someone liked one of his books, my Mom sent an email saying she enjoyed "My name is Red" by him, which I had heard there may be hope.

Is that the only book for the course or do you have to read literature too? I would love to see the list of books, or are they all included? Sooo tempting a reading list for the summer!