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?
Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!
The section of Borders where I do most of my browsing has a sign identifying it as “literature and fiction,” but I have to admit that most of the time it’s “fiction” that pulls me there. It’s not the only part of the store that stocks fiction, of course; but even if some of the books shelved there are only loosely considered “literature,” apparently they don’t fit into specific slots like “romance,” “mystery/suspense,” and “science fiction/fantasy,” so they get to share space with the upper echelon.
While I do read a fair amount of somewhat serious, “literary” fiction, I have to admit that I do think of “literature” as the stuff I studied in my high-school and college English classes. I did go through a period post-college of trying to catch up on classics that I hadn’t read yet – mostly 20th-century writers like Steinbeck and Fitzgerald – but these days I don’t read much that’s likely to show up on a syllabus. While I greatly appreciate good writing and intelligent use of language and word choice, I honestly don’t have the time and patience for the long, meandering sentences of much 19th-century writing any more (not much of a Dickens fan, or of Jane Austen for that matter – don’t hurt me, please!). I have even less patience with “post-modern” novels that critics love, but seem to be far more concerned with style than substance (by which I mean basics like plot, theme, and characterization), but aside from that most of what I enjoy reading is contemporary fiction that doesn’t fall into particular genres.
While I wouldn’t say that I run screaming from “literature” these days, I don’t really seek out the classics very often, and if any of my “fun” reading turns out to fall into that category, I don’t usually plan it that way.
Week of March 30: Finish the Sentence
Fill in the blanks for this week’s meme….
1. I always wanted to live right near the beach.
2. I really hate it when I’m being pulled in six different directions at work and can’t get focused enough to get ONE thing done!
3. My best friend is two people – my husband and my sister.
4. In high school I was brainy, four-eyed, and dorky – not much has changed.
5. My greatest fear is something too scary to think about.
6. My dream job is something that involves reading, writing, and money.
7. Some people really should realize they’re not the center of the universe and get over themselves.
8. My favorite author is nearly impossible for me to identify – how can you have just one?.
1. Tonight I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Happy music makes me wanna dance!
3. Splitting a few appetizers between friends can save you some money, especially if you count them as dinner.
4. I’d like to tell you who is someone I’d like to get to know better, but I’m too shy…
5. The smell of the grass after it rains reminds me so much of springtime!
6. My husband made a joke and laughed, and that made it all better.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting home from work and grocery shopping, tomorrow my plans include birthday dinner part 2 (extended-family edition) and Sunday, I want to have a not-very-busy day!