Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year, New 30 Day Book Challenge, Day 10

Day 10: Favorite Classic Book


Gianna has NOT read this!
Another impossible question, so I will modify it. Instead of choosing a favorite classic, and as everyone knows, mine is Lonesome Dove, I have decided to choose a classic or two that I really love but that I have neglected to write about on this silly little blog. Okay, that’s unfair…this crappy little blog. 
The Ellen and Portia of their day

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein (I call her Gerts or Gertie) is the type of book I adore because it puts you on the path to a zillion other things. You can’t read this book, which features a cat fight between Matisse and Picasso, without wanting to know more those clowns, or of course art in general. I hadn’t read Hemingway until I read Alice B., and everyone should read at least one Hemingway novel (although his short stories are remarkable).  [One can't properly hate Hemingway until one reads him.] On the down side, after reading Alice you may think, “Why bother going to Paris now? All the good shit already happened."  And that may be true. 

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans (1936).  I don’t know if young people read this or not anymore; I hope so. [I'm younger than Gianna and I've read it. That counts, right? I don't know why old people are so resistant to reading Lonesome Dove.] As Roosevelt’s New Deal programs began making their way to the poorest Americans during the height of the depression, Agee and Evans traveled the South on a magazine assignment. They photographed and interviewed white sharecroppers, focusing mainly on three desperately poor families.
As I look at these photographs now, I think of the current conversation of government assistance, and I am reminded of how important not only this book is, but how important journalism can be. I know this book has a bit of controversy surrounding it--the truth being that some of these photographs may have been posed--but for me it hasn’t changed my affection for it at all. 


I love Hemingway so much. Like, there's the man and he goes fishing and he fights a marlin and talks endlessly about DiMaggio--and I just love the Yankees too--and then the sharks eat the marlin before the man can bring it to shore, and what the hell happened to the afternoon of my life that I lost reading this book?*

I love Mark Twain so much.  Like, there's a boy with ADHD who plays with the life of a slave while running away from home, and it's supposed to be the greatest book in American literature and really funny, but mostly it's just silly and rather abusive and kinda racist.*

I love Norman Mailer so much.  It's so awesome the way that he makes anal sex sound like so much fun for the woman being raped.  But who wouldn't want to be buggered by a guy who's already murdered his wife?*

Yeah, I'm going with Virginia Woolf for this one.  

*The Old Man and the Sea, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, An American Dream

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