Friday Meme-fest

Booking Through Thursday: Lit-Ra-Chur

btt button

  • 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.

randomness…feed your mind and your blog

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?.

Friday Fill In #66

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!

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  1. I love that smell, too 🙂

    Hey, I saw the “About You” part of your blog, where you said you’re probably too old for this blogging thing…nah! I’m way older than you and I don’t think I’m too old for this 😉

    Thanks for playing!

  2. Janet – Yeah, I’ve been thinking I should take out that part. I put it in when I was still new in Blogland, and it turns out that it’s NOT full of what my mother-in-law calls “young people” after all – at least, not the neighborhoods where I hang out.

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. I read genre fiction as a rule. I think high school and college English classes scared me away from “literature” forever. That may be an exaggeration, but I didn’t enjoy what I was forced to read, or if I did, the endless dissection of the work killed it. I like to read, I don’t like to look for deeper meanings, or what the author was trying to say through symbolism. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? 🙂

  4. Mike – No, nothing wrong with that. I know what you mean – sometimes you just want what you’re reading to be what it is, and not standing for something else, you know? I do like some substance in what I read, but I don’t necessarily want to work at it.

    But unfortunately, I think English classes ruined reading for a lot of people.

  5. lots of interesting ideas here! where should i start? :o)

    living by the ocean is something i would love to do as well, and getting paid to read and write would certainly be fabulous. it makes me feel happy to just thinking about “happy music”!

    i’m with you on Jane Austen. i tried Emma, and just couldn’t get through it. (i ended up renting the Gwyneth Paltrow movie so i’d be able to talk about the book at my book club.) i feel guilty that i haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, but …

    have a wonderful part 2 birthday dinner! (i love it when birthday celebrations last for days!)

  6. Alisonwonderland – I’m still amused that we both gave that “happy music” answer. 🙂

    I did read some Austen as extra-curricular stuff during college, but I really haven’t felt a need to re-read or go back to any of her books that I missed the first time.

    Have a great weekend yourself!

  7. It has been really interesting to see how BTT participants define literature. I read in one comment somewhere that someone doesn’t care to read the political literature he receives in the mail, or something like that. There are so many ways to look at it.

    You mean I’m not the center of the universe? I was so sure . . . (*wink*)

    I completely agree with #3 of your fill in answers. So very true!

    I hope you have a good weekend. Enjoy the birthday dinner!

  8. Literary Feline – It wouldn’t have occurred to me to define the political ads I get in the mail as “literature,” but I really don’t read them either. I agree that the different perceptions of it are interesting.

    I think your answer for #3 was similar, wasn’t it?

    The birthday dinner was great – Italian food, and then one of my sister’s excellent cakes. The woman bakes from scratch, and made me an all-chocolate one with mousse filling – delicious!