"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Grumpy Old Bookman on Britain's Favorites

Grumpy Auld has no time for Britain's favorites:
Lies, damned lies, and favourite books
Most UK newspapers last week carried reports of an alleged list of 'the nation's favourite books'.
What can one possibly say? Well, for a start, I suppose there are some people around who are so young, so badly educated, and so lacking in intelligence that they will actually believe that an 'opinion poll' which uses the data provided, online, by 2,000 self-selected people, is somehow truly representative of what the British nation thinks.

Nah, I just thought it was fun. Perhaps better to say the favorite books of people who care about literature? Which is not necessarily to disdain popular or "commercial" fiction. (Yet, many of us do.)

Anyway, I doubt Jane Austen would get much of a mention on this side of the pond (I could be wrong -- see Sherman Alexie's favorites, below.) I did like Emma (from which my favorite line remains, "It was a highly prized letter.") but haven't read Pride and Prejudice.

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