Literary snobbery meme
13 Wednesday May 2009
Written by Laura Roberts in Authors We Enjoy
Anna Karenina, Anthony Bourdain, Art Objects, As the Mist Leaves No Scar, Atherton Bartelby, AV Flox, Beautiful Losers, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Charles Bukowski, Chaucer, chick lit, Dave Eggers, David Sedaris, desert island books, Dmitri Nabokov, Do Everything in the Dark, experimental literature, Facebook, Gary Indiana, George Eliot, Happiness(TM), Harriet the Spy, Holly Golightly, Humbert Humbert, Jane Austen, Jeanette Winterson, JM Coetzee, John Updike, JT LeRoy, Kathy Acker, Kitchen Confidential, Leo Tolstoy, Leonard Cohen, literary memes, literary snobbery meme, Lolita, Milton, my novel, Neil LaBute, Nobel Prize for literature, Othello, Philip Roth, plagiarism, Post Office, Salman Rushdie, Shakespeare, Tao Te Ching, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, The Shape of Things, Truman Capote, Twilight, Vladimir Nabokov, Will Ferguson
I was tagged by two of the most fabulous Facebook users in the world, AV Flox and Atherton Bartelby, so obvs I have to complete their literary meme now! Feel free to join in the snobbery if you are a literary type, or wallow in your tragic illiteracy if not. (This has also been posted on my Facebook page, so apologies if you’ve already read it there.)
1) What author do you own the most books by?
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I don’t really have any repeats, though I’ve bought Beautiful Losers at least three times now. Damn Cohen thieves.
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
It’s post-gym. I’m tired. Eff prepositions in the arse. But yes.
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Holly Golightly, bless her whorish little soul.
4a) What fictional character would you most like to be?
Hmm. That’s a tough one, as I always seem to like the losers, the underdogs, and the not-entirely-together. Let’s go with Harriet the Spy. She still amuses, after all these years.
4b) What fictional character do you think most resembles you?
Lolita. Or maybe Humbert Humbert?
5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Harriet the Spy. Or maybe those god-awful Sweet Valley High books. I devoured books in series, back then.
7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Undoubtedly something I had to review for publication, so I will keep mum.
8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, J.T. LeRoy
9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
I think I may be forced to echo Ms. Flox on this one: “The one I publish one day, duh.”
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
Salman Rushdie. I mean, c’mon already. Does the fatwa not speak for itself?
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I fear most good books make terrible movies, but what about Post Office?
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Any and all books that fall under the heading “chick lit.”
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Nabokov’s son emailed me to tell me how bad I suck because of a sex column I wrote. Wait, that was real.
14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
Happiness™ by Will Ferguson
15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Anything by Kathy Acker. I have problems with “experimental” literature and plagiarism.
16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
This is embarrassing, but I have only seen Othello with a high school class. And we were mostly mortified by the way the actors showered us with spittle, sitting in the front row. Umbrella? Thanks.
17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I am currently reading Anna Karenina, so I will side with the Russians. For now.
18) Roth or Updike?
Having never read any Roth (the shame! the horror!) I will say Updike.
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Sedaris, hands down. Eggers is a poseur.
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
No thank you. I successfully avoided all of these classes as an English Lit major and I’m not about to cave now!
21) Austen or Eliot?
I don’t do “lady authors.”
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
It is a bit embarrassing that one can have an English Lit degree without having been forced to take the Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer courses at one’s university, but I refuse to feel shame. I have seen enough to know it’s not for me.
23) What is your favorite novel?
Is it plebian of me to say “The Shape of Things”?
“As the Mist Leaves No Scar,” Leonard Cohen
“Art Objects,” Jeanette Winterson
27) Short story?
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Truman Capote
28) Work of non-fiction?
Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
29) Who is your favorite writer?
I love my man LC, but I feel compelled to say J.M. Coetzee.
30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
That damn woman who wrote those stupid “Twilight” books that all the pre-teens are reading these days. Bleh!
31) What is your desert island book?
I hate these “desert island” questions, since I can never decide whether I want an old fave or something that will keep me occupied for a long while. How about the Tao Te Ching just to hurt my brain?
32) And … what are you reading right now?
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, as well as Do Everything in the Dark by Gary Indiana, and a vast assortment of magazines, newspaper articles and whatever’s close at hand.