Saturday, March 28, 2009

A facebook meme

(Copied from Eve. I'm not on Facebook.)

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Shakespeare? Wilde? Cummings?

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I've gone through several copies of Dylan Thomas's poems; Seamus Heaney's Field Work.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
That's a fake rule. So, no.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Don't read much fiction. Probably someone from the movies.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
My copy of Marianne Moore's prose is pretty beat up.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Believe it or not, it was probably something about baseball.

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
I don't read many bad books. A bad book is one I can't finish.

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Oh, I don't know. Probably something I've reread. Cummings.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
Cummings; Roethke; Dylan Thomas. I can't choose.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
Wendy Cope. Better yet, Stephen Fry.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Michael Ramsey: A Life by Owen Chadwick.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Dreamed I was in my high-school auditorium after a Dylan Thomas reading. I asked for the poet's autograph, and he hastily scribbled "Dylan Moreorless Thomas." Also dreamed, more weirdly, of meeting President Eisenhower on a park bench.

14) What is the most low-brow book you've read as an adult?
A Bobby Darin biography. Wait -- the autobiography of the Weakest Link lady. No, wait -- Rush Limbaugh's The Way Things Ought to Be. But I've always wanted to read Little Girl Lost by Drew Barrymore.

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
I attempted both Ulysses and The Glass Bead Game in high school.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
I've just seen the biggies.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
The world needs both. But I think I'll give the slight edge to the French.

18) Roth or Updike?
From what little I know of both, Updike.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Sedaris. Who's Eggers?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare. As Eve said, duh.

21) Austen or Eliot?
For the most part, I've escaped them both (if Eliot means George, as I suspect). I also suspect I'd find them both unendurable. But then again, most fiction is, to me.

Auden or (TS) Eliot, now there's a question! (Auden for me.)

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Recently admitted to a friend that I've read neither Brave New World nor Fahrenheit 451. Addendum, 3/29 : Chesterton! Inexcusably for a Catholic in the English-speaking world, I've read nothing by him save a few poems and his biography of St Francis of Assisi. And I haven't read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books.

23) What is your favorite novel?
19th century: The Picture of Dorian Gray. 20th century: Walker Percy's Love In the Ruins.

24) Play?
I'm tempted to steal Eve's answer of Lear, but I give the slight edge to Hamlet.

25) Poem?
Shakespeare's 18th sonnet; Dante's "Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare"; "Prayer" by George Herbert; Dylan Thomas's "Prologue."

26) Essay?
Any prose by Marianne Moore can be counted on to edify.

27) Short story?
Don't have one.

28) Work of non-fiction?
Moab Is My Washpot by Stephen Fry. (It's not for the prudish, as Miss Moore would say.)

29) Who is your favorite writer?
At the moment, Cummings.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Tom Robbins? John Irving? Anne Lamott? And several poets.

31) What is your desert island book?
The Atlantic Book of British and American Poetry, edited by Dame Edith Sitwell.

32) And... what are you reading right now?
Re-reading Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled; also, two books about Eastern Orthodoxy.