Sunday, May 21, 2017
The Book Odyssey
I call it a book odyssey because of the many places I go to and the experiences I have with reading each book that is referred to (which makes me think of Odysseus). I really enjoy doing this (I allude to other times when I have read such books that are rich with literary references such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume One and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume Two ) and seek to read the books referred to. It really enhances my enjoyment of the book I am reading. I am always on the lookout for such books as they are an extraordinary source of reading indulgence and I often feel richer for the experience (even when some of the books are not what I would naturally choose to read).
What I mean by that is that Nafisi has a strong admiration of Vladimir Nabokov, and at the beginning of this odyssey I had only ever read Lolita which if you have read my blog entry about it you would understand that it was a repellent experience for me. I saw that Nabokov had a gift for writing, and hoped that when I read something else of his I would get to appreciate that gift. I have since then read Invitation to a Beheading which was sublime and has made me comfortable with the idea of re-reading Lolita sometime this year.
So it has been a very gratifying experience so far. I have been in an all girls school with Muriel Sparks' The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, lived under siege in Nuha al-Radi's The Baghdad Diaries , hung out in Europe with Henry James' Daisy Miller, floated around in the mind of Cincinnatus C. in Invitation to a Beheading, and been anxiously repressed in Bucharest with Saul Bellow's The Dean's December.
The plan for this book odyssey is doing a little peeking ahead to see what books are mentioned, read those books, then proceed with the chapters in Reading Lolita until I encounter new books I haven't read yet. I have not progressed too deeply yet, but I love what I have read so far. This project will probably exceed the year that I have allotted to complete it in because apart from the list in the back of the book I want to read everything else too by those authors mentioned.
To be continued...