Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh Hello, Didn't See You There!

Hello, book-lovers! Nice to see you. As these are our introductory posts, I should tell you that I am K., the fairer half of this project[1]. While I’m sure my counterpart has told you that his background is largely in antiquity, I am grounded somewhat more in the (relatively) modern day, having started my studies in Shakespeare and extending through Postmodernism. While Mr. Billy Shakes still has an iron grip on my heart, I am endeavoring on this project both to try and expand my appreciation of 20th Century literature, and hopefully to foster a little love out there for the written word.

As for my natural literary inclination, I have already mentioned an (almost certainly unhealthy) Shakespeare obsession, but I was raised on rather a more contemporary diet. I attended my first lecture on Jack Kerouac at the ripe old age of three and never looked back.

I originally had the idea to go through with this project when I came across the Time Magazine list of what they deigned to be the one hundred great modern novels. Upon finding that there were other lists, M. and I sat down with the Time list, the Randall list, and the Modern Library list to make cases for each. We ultimate chose the Modern Library list for a whole host of reasons I’m sure I will speak more about later.

For the sake of clarity, let it be known that even though the Modern Library list does rank their titles (a feature it does not share with the Time list) we are reading and posting our reviews of these books in no order other than how the mood strikes us to read and write about them.

Instead of both reading all one hundred on the list, M. and I have decided to split it up 50/50. Though we do both hope to get to all one hundred at some point, things like work, class, and giving our kitten, The Professor, heaps and heaps of attention do take up much of our time. As we hope some of you might read some of these books along with us and want to ask questions/have some kind of dialogue, we are also thinking about putting up some videos every now and then.

So, what makes a book “great”? How have these one hundred books come to gain so much influence in the Western canon? Within the next year, we are going to try and answer those questions. Thanks for starting this journey with us. It’s great to have you here.


[1] See also, the one with more of my tenuous attachments to reality still intact.

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