Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests





Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Literary Blog Hop

I have been a frequent participant in the Book Bloggers Hop and it has been a great experience.    I have found a lot of new blogs to follow from it and gained some great readers along the way.   It has made me feel part of the international book blogger community.    Most of the participants in The Book Bloggers Hop focus on young adult, paranormal books as well as what is commonly called "chic lit".    I tend to read classics, Asian fiction, short stories and modern writers like Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield and Ford Madox Ford.    I also read living writers like Thomas Pynchon,  A. S. Byatt, Salman Rushdie, Kenzaburo Oe, Banana Yoshimoto, Margaret Atwood, Kristy Gunn, among others.   I am very open to new to me authors and find book blogs the best source for reading ideas.  

The hosts of the brand new Literary Book Blog Hop are inviting those of us who see ourselves as "literary book blogs" to join their hop and have asked initial participants to pick a book they regard as "literary" and explain what this means to them.    At first I did not really care to answer that question as I prefer to talk only about particular works and authors without generalizing about the broader ramifications of reading or the reading life but now I have decided to very briefly venture an answer.   

Of the books I have recently read and posted on I would say Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire would be considered a literary book by almost all its readers.   By literary book I mean one in which part of the meaning (a term I also do not really like) of the work is carried by  how it is told not just in the conversations and plot action.    A newspaper article just gives the facts but a literary work uses its style, structure, method of narration, form and cultural references to do its work.

We need to recall Dickens was published in the tabloids of his day and Shakespeare was mass entertainment.     Sometimes I wonder what books written since WWII will still be read in the 22nd century.           

12 comments:

bibliophiliac said...

Mel, I always enjoy your posts. You choose works that no one else is writing about, such as your recent posts on Katherine Mansfield's stories. I have to admit, I found your blog on the other hop (ages ago) but I love the idea of the literary blog hop....

IngridLola said...

Yay! We are so glad you wrote this wonderful post and joined our hop! We love your blog.

Joanne P said...

Stopping by on the hop! Been a follower for a long time...Always enjoy your unique take on titles.

Sam said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm now following yours back :)

I've had so many people recommending Pale Fire to me on my Lolita post that I've actually ordered it already and can't wait to get my hands on it!

Amateur Reader said...

Now that is some fine contrarianism. When do we get more detail about your suspicion of meaning, or "meaning"? I will bet you that I will be sympathetic.

readerbuzz said...

I'm happily joining in the very first blog hop, too. I spent a while thinking about what literary writing is. It's a little complicated, but it's also simple, too.

Here's mine:
http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2010/11/literary-blog-hop.html

Shellie - Layers of Thought said...

Mel u -
I just finished Lolita and I just loved it. I am so surprised. It is a rare five star for me. So I will also take a look at this one as well.

I have a couple of challenges posted about on my blog you may be interested in.

http://www.layersofthought.net/2010/11/read-myth-challenge-2011.html

Jennifer said...

Oof. I tried to read Pale Fire recently. I did not succeed, nor have I ever succeeded when it comes to Nabokov. I guess that I just have to keep trying!

emeire said...

Hi!

I have just stumbled upon your blog (my attention being drawn by the reviews of Mansfield's stories).
I find your take on the definition of "literary" makes sense. I am interested in that fine (subjective?) line that exists between popular fiction and literature.
As for "meaning", that is another problematic topic. What about significance?

For some strange reason, I've never managed to finish Pale Fire despite enjoying studying it. I guess I should really go back to it (time being an issue) as it is a great book.

Em

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

Hi there, I'm passing through on the Blog Hop, lots of goodies to look at here, you've lit a fire under me to finally read Katherine Mansfield! I'll be sure to add your blog to my blog roll so my readers can find their way to you and I'll have a link back to visiti. Thanks!!

Laura

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

I meant to mention, your co-editors are adorable! I have a few of those too, they love to "help". L-

mywordlyobsessions said...

Just stumbled across your first literary blog post. Nabokov is another author I fully intend to explore. His 'Lolita' was excellent. I was mesmerised by the way he wrote. Have you ever had the chance of listening to his speak? You'd be so surprised. He writes exactly the way he talks. It's such a deja vu moment. It's like seeing humbert humbert in the flesh!