Thursday, April 03, 2008

Booking it with Lit-Tra-Chure

The difference between journalism and literature is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

1. When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)

My thoughts tend to stray to the classic works I HATED growing up, not the ones I loved, as well as the "modern" literature out there that "they" consider a must read. For me, "literature" as a genre has a very negative connotation. I adore Shakespeare, so I don't really consider him "literature". OTOH, I despise Steinbeck with every fiber of my being, followed closely by an incredible dislike of Hemingway. They definitely fall into the "literature" category for me. It may be thusly for me because in my English Literature classes, those were the writers we read... not the really cool classics like Jane Austen or Shakespeare or Edgar Allen Poe.

2. Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?

Dear heavens, no. "Literature" takes itself far too seriously, uses incredibly complex and utterly un-understandable phrases and never has a happy ending. Why would I use my few spare minutes trudging through a depressing and pretentious novel when I can laugh, smile and basically just feel good about reading genre fiction? I'm proud to say that I'd take Nora Roberts over Tolstoy, and Dean Koontz over Steinbeck. Every day of the week.



Don't forget: A comment on the blog this month earns you an entry to win one of these two books.

AND: LASR is giving away a book EVERY DAY IN APRIL. We've already made two people very happy... click here to find out how you can be next!


I managed another 700 words on my HQA yesterday...not the 1000 I wanted, but I'll take every last one of them. My heroine has just caught a glimpse of the hero, though she doesn't know that's who he'll end up being, of course. She's just shopping for curtain rods.

I also edited a bit more of "Kitchen Matches", and am falling in love with the story all over again. However, I can see why this last editor who rejected it had difficulty seeing Micah (the hero). I really rather gloss over him a bit. This was originally written as a short story, and I never switch POV between H/H in my short stories, so "Kitchen Matches" is written completely from the heroine, Cori's POV. It makes Micah very difficult to "get". That's all about to change. In another few pages, Micah gets his own scene, right after poor Cori ends up on her behind in the gutter.

I want the reader to love Micah and Cori as much as I do.

My writing plan, currently, is to work on the HQA in the morning and "Kitchen Matches" in the afternoon. Mostly, it's working so far. But DH is home for the next four days, so that may not be as easy. Especially since he wants my help putting in the hardwood floor today and tomorrow. **sigh**


The snow is finally melting off my lawn again. I'll go around a take a few pictures once the sun is out to prove it to you *G*. There is only one problem (aside from that pesky mole): Dakota doesn't know where to go potty!

We got her in November, and the day after we got snowed. And there has been snow on the ground ever since. She was potty trained on snow, and now searches for a patch of it to go pee on. She won't go on the grass! Poor puppy. I feel bad for her, because she's trying to be a good dog and not go where she's not supposed to. Times like these I wish we could reason with our canine companions.


Your Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Freedom Poppy

Peace, bruthah....


Anonymous said...

"Why would I use my few spare minutes trudging through a depressing and pretentious novel when I can laugh, smile and basically just feel good about reading genre fiction?"

Exactly! I'll take fun and a happy ending over dense 'literary' language every time. :)

Tara said...

I agree ... I'll take Nora Roberts and Koontz anyday!!

I don't know what it is about literature, but it does have a negative connotation to it.

Great way of stating that!!


gautami tripathy said...

I can read almost anything. But spare me Ulysses!

Or those werewolves stuff!


Here is my BTT post!

gautami tripathy said...

Count me in for the giveaway!

MomJane said...

I love reading your blog. My puppy finally realized that the small lawn in my back yard is okay to use to go potty.

After Chaucer in school, I don't read anything in that genre ever. Love Nora of course.

joanna said...

Maybe we should have a contest for the least depressing 'literature'-type book? ;-)
I remember my sixth grade teacher making me read Little Women when I was reading nothing but Sweet Valley books. That sparked my interest in 'literature' and boy am I glad! I still love that book, whereas Sweet Valley is forgotten...

Dru said...

Shakespeare was the only "literature" author that I truly enjoyed. The others that were force upon us in school were blah.

It is interesting that when I think of writers who write "literature", they're all dead.

But like you, I'll take Nora over all of them.

My baby name is Blossom Honey.

WTG on the word count that you did yesterday. I'm sure you'll be able to do what you need to for "Kitchen Madness".

I can't wait to see your completed floor.

That is too funny about Dakota not knowing where to potty.

Have a good Thursday.

Diane Craver said...

I don't like many of the classics. I did like Joseph Conrad when his book was required reading. I didn't like William Faulkner.

Congrats on the word count yesterday - I only wrote around 300!

Lianne said...

Yey for 700 words! And try to find time between putting down the floor to do a little more today. Yeah, I'm pushy. *G*

I agree with you on the literary stuff. I don't like much of it, but I tend to like the classic literature better than the "literary" junk being put out now days. I hate a tragic ending just for the sake of a tragic ending. It doesn't make sense to me most of the time, and when I read fiction, I want a happy ending. And yes, words and sentences that I can understand!

Melissa said...

Congrats on the writing! 700 words is great! Keep it up!

pete said...

It seems literature is what we make it though. I hated being pushed through Thomas Hardy at school and I'm fairly sure I found most of the other books we did to be cruel and unusual punishments.

But, for instance you read Austen and don't think of it as literature because you enjoy it - I'm the opposite, I read Hemmingway lots of explosions and running around with guns and what not, we both would view the one the other reads as literature, yet read the ones we read because we enjoy them.

Maybe it's the word that's the problem, as opposed to the works?

Jaimie said...

I like the classics though I do have preferences. Like you, I do not care for Steinbeck AT ALL. I used to think students chose to read his books because they are short.
I love Shakespeare but Tolstoy, not so much. It is very hard to lump all the classics together.
Count me in on the giveaway!
I'm having one too, you are welcome to join in!

Anonymous said...

You know where I stand on this, so I won't stir the pot. (Is that a sigh of relief I hear?)

We did the floor thing a couple years back--it will be worth it when it's done.


Mrs. B. said...

Oh, I must disagree with you! Literature is valuable and delightful...Usually ;)

BooksPlease said...

I only really came to enjoy Shakespeare when I saw the plays. I've never read Steinbeck or Hemingway, so I can't comment on them - I've never read any Nora Roberts or Dean Koontz either!!

Amy Addison said...

1. Literature=doesn't end well
2. Why would I voluntarily read THAT?

Baby name: Laprincia Cairo

Yay on the words. Especially if they're all keepers.

bethany said...

I don't really agree, I think literature is much different than what you think...which is fine. check out my answer and let me know what you think of mine!

I love literature...but for me it is much more than the classics!

anno said...

I usually think of "literature" as the stuff that lasts, and I think we might be surprised to see what of so-called modern literature today will be read 200 or 300 years from now. Personally, I suspect it might be easier to find Stephen King on the shelves then than Cormac McCarthy.

I share your dislike of Hemingway & Steinbeck (as well as your affection for Austen & Shakespeare), but even Hemingway can seem interesting to me if I read his work as a reflection of his times, and study his style as an response to the florid prose of a previous era. It at least makes reading Hemingway interesting. Can't say as I'd like him to be steady company, though...

Tori Lennox said...

I avoid literature like the plague. I read for pleasure and I find literature another form of torture.

My Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Love Avalon

I can live with that. *g*

Brandy said...

I think the reason most people don't like 'Literature' is because of the way they are taught in school, no free thinking allowed until you hit college. However, I do like my Shakespeare and Little Women is one of my all-time favorite books.
Poor Dakota, I hope she figures out soon that she can potty on the grass. *g*
Ooh, you did GOOD writing yesterday! WTG!
And I hear you on having the hubs home, they mess up schedules without even trying. *sigh*

I hope you have a lovely day!

Paula Weston said...

Hi Marianne,

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - I love meme!

I agree about Steinbeck. I read Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row a few years back and sunk into depression for a week! And yes, it's true most "literary" novels tend not to have happy endings (just like epic mystical Chinese films...)

Re your questions about "I Am The Messenger" - I loved it! A great twist on the way to tell a story.

I really enjoyed discovering your blog. Look forward to reading more.

Cherie J said...

I have to have my HEA and unfortunately you don't get that guarantee with Literature so with exception of books like those by Jane Austen i avoid it. Congrats on the 700 words.

Dena said...

I hope your writing schedule keeps working.
I would take Nora over all of them too.
My baby name was; Iris Ireland

Anonymous said...

I can't read the stuff that you define as "literature." Why should someone read something they are not enjoying? I wonder how many people actually read the more pretentious stuff anyway.