Question 1

j0201712 What is one work of so-called-great literature that you’ve never read but that people probably assume you’ve read?

Mine is Middlemarch. I did read the first 200 pages though. Twice.


  1. Moby Dick. It was assigned to me in high school, and I tried to read it, I really did. I know it’s one of Robin’s favorite books ever. Besides its being GREAT LITERATURE, someone tell me why I should try again. And please don’t try to bully or shame me into reading it. I’m sure you have one skeleton on your bookshelf, too!

  2. Hey Christa, Actually the first time I read Moby Dick I HATED it. I told my teacher it was boring, and I could not FATHOM why it was considered a classic. She said one day I would like it. And this turned out to be the case.
    No pressure to read it though, I swear it!
    I think there are parts of that big book that you would appreciate though. In the middle of the book, the obsession with symbolism–as in every single thing he writes about takes on the magnitude of symbolism–would interest you. Somehow Melville’s symbols seem to signify both a particular meaning and its opposite at the same time. Cool like that.

  3. More than one, but I’ll admit to Middlemarch too. Assigned during my sophomore semester of mono AND severe depression. Probably made it to 50 pages at most…

  4. Mine’s worse than yours. I actually made it through the first 700 pages of Anna Karenina (my edition has about 800 pages) before various other things took over my life. It’s been a while, so I don’t think I can simply pick up where I left off; I’d have to start again.

  5. Does Don Delillo count?
    I’m told I copy his writing style, which I never knew because I had never read him. But then i tried some big fat book about garbage collecting and i liked it but there were too many other things to do…

  6. Ulysses. Sadly, I’ve never even tried! I read a few excerpts in school, and that was enough for me.
    Sorry I’ve been so out of touch. I hope your new blog will keep me in touch with my writing soul. Will write to you soon.
    xoxoxo Amy

  7. Shame on me. There are too many to count.
    Let’s start w/ Shakespeare: Love’s Labours Lost, King Richard III, All’s Well that Ends Well, Measure for Measure, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Henry the IV, VI, IX, XXIII, etc. etc. etc., if you get my drift.
    Then there’s them French folk like BAlzac and Proust. Such pretty sounding names.
    Oh, and today at my daughter’s Infant/Crawler playgroup we met Heather and her son Soren, named after Kierkegaard. I was embarrassed to admit I’ve read NARY a word of SK, but w/ works like Fear and Trembling and Sickness Unto Death, thank god I DID skip him during my depressed college years.
    Oh, well. Canon, shmanon. Perhaps I’m making much ado about nothing?

  8. I confess that I’ve not read Middlemarch, the Bible & Moby Dick (but MD is slated for the near future).
    Black-hole-rendering brain neurons are my bigger concern. They’ve sucked in all my memories of the Great Gatsby or Little Women or anything I read more than three week ago, so that I have in essence never read anything except for what I’m responsible for knowing this week: the Coquette, the Heart of Darkness, and a story called “Sexy” by Jhumpa Lahiri.

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