Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Big Book Bucket List

As I approach an uncomfortably round birthday (complete with an uncomfortably round midsection), I have begun to reflect that there are some famous books that are really really freaking long. Also, I have begun to reflect that I am no spring chicken. Therefore, I should start getting up the patience to get through at least a few of them. With this in mind, I present the current Big Book Bucket List:

1) The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu. I have read about 5 chapters. This one may be doable. The explanatory literature is surprisingly readable.
2) Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust. I have read about 70 pages. This one is really painful. Like, really unpleasant. Not sure what the motivation is here.
3) Quiet Flows the Don, Mikhail Sholohov. This one has the problem of being written in a Cossack dialect of Russian. OY. I can haz Russian edition with annotations pleze?
4) The Chinese Classical Novels. I have read half a volume of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Meh. I think The Dream of the Red Chamber is the safer bet. Or I can try The Plum in the Golden Vase, the super sexy forbidden fifth classical novel. This one would probably require a lot of explanatory literature.

Any other suggestions?


Wade Garrett said...

I read Swann's Way, the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past. I liked it well enough, but was never inspired to pick up any of the subsequent volumes.

Admittedly, your interest in long books written in other languages is greater than mine. There is one massive foreign book - the Sagas of Icelanders - that I have been meaning to read. I have our mutual friend JMFM to blame for that.

Ulysses, which I have never read, probably tops my list. Infinite Jest, which I am currently reading, doesn't count, because I've read most of it already.

8yearoldsdude said...

oy. my lack of interest in reading great world novels is just one more thing to feel inadequate about come roundly roundly.

Paul Smecker said...

there are certainly a great number of things to feel inadequate about