Is it too early for lunch?
Posted February 7, 2008on:
Shall I have to add poor ol’ Alfred, Lord Tennyson to the next Outmoded authors list? Yesterday, an English professor’s shocked inquiry revealed that I was not in a course that required me to read Idylls of the King, no, not even an English grad student, but a social sciences scoundrel reading it of her own free will. What is the world coming to? Especially when the professor was kind enough to inform me that Tennyson is too dated to bother with, why don’t I try some Ezra Pound? I’ll show you Ezra Pound.
A chance meander into one of the religious affiliated college’s library resulted in my departure with a bag full of free books. This is the same library that gave away a prime, clearly-never-read copy of Paulina 1880. (Have I linked to this book often enough? You know you want to buy it.)
The Last Chronicle of Barset (Riverside editions) – Anthony Trollope
Only a few inked scribbles. Broken spine but still looking good.
Adam Bede (New American Library) – George Eliot
One loose page but otherwise fair. Amusing Mills & Boonesque cover. Reminds me of some of my older Margaret Laurence books.
Joseph Andrews (New American Library) – Henry Fielding
Rather worse for wear but it’s free so I’m not complaining. Not even sure what the book is about, too excited to prevent my eyes from jittering all over the book before stuffing it into my bag. Both NAL books are labeled “Signet Classics” so I’m guessing they were published pre-Penguin ownership.
Point Counter Point (Penguin Modern Classics) – Aldous Huxley
Another old edition. The cover art moves more into artsy Harlequin territory. I remember litlove saying that Huxley is arguably outmoded because no one reads anything except Brave New World (if that).
The Confessions of Nat Turner (Signet novel) – William Styron
Something about either the title or the author clicked a bell so I picked it up. On closer inspection I see that is, horrors, a historical novel on slavery in the American south (two of my major Things to Avoid). However, the cover proclaims it is not only a Pulitzer prize winner but an “all-time best seller” with quotes from The New Republic and The New York Times hailing it as ” the most profound fictional treatment of slavery in our literature” and “A TRIUMPH“, respectively. Who could resist? (Well, I could quite easily but we’ll see.)
Wild Geese (New Canadian Library) – Martha Ostenso
Here is an author and book I’ve never heard of before but the cover describes it as “A brilliant study of human cruelty and human love” and the back promises a female character “as wild as a broncho and as vivid as a tigress”, which was something timid Canadian readers in 1925 were not used to at all, at all. It made me the think of The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence which is probably what made me pick it up.
Selected Works of John Dryden (Rinehart editions)
I’m not familiar with his work at all, outside of a few poems, and he’s not someone whose books I would seek out so this was a nice catch. There’s everything here from poetry to “prologues and epilogues” to verse essays and criticisms. Not sure what the prologues and epilogues are about.
This edition sports a previous owner’s doodle of two birds — ducks? penguins? ducguins? — one of whom has stretched out his neck to give a loud…bird noise of some kind. Bird call. You know.
Checked my stats this morning and saw a Paris Review webmail referral peeking at me. Well. *shuffles* I know that I have often been rather…liberal when quoting material from your marvellous, marvellous publication. *twists fingers* Hopefully, you’re not composing any horrid Take-it-down-or-we’ll-SUE emails. (Incidentally, did you really have to add that ad of a girl peeking over her shoulder in some old-timey bikini on your bookmarks? Couldn’t you get another entity more bookish interested in that spot? Something artsier than a damn hotel (one I’m sure that is lovely)?)