Friday, November 09, 2007

10 Canonical Novels I Love

  1. Jane Eyre: love it! I spent about half (okay, maybe I exaggerate) of my oral exams discussing this. Why? Unknown. But I did. I've read it maybe 3 times. Never tire of it. My favorite part may be the crazy lady in the attic. I identify with her. And with Jane.
  2. All Jane Austen: Never met a Jane Austen novel I didn't like. I've read all except: Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey.
  3. House of Mirth: I think this was my favorite of the novels I read for my exams. Since then I've vowed to read more Wharton. And have I? No, I have not. Hey, give me a break. It's only been 5 years!
  4. Mrs. Dalloway: I love this novel. It is my favorite Woolf. Why? It's lyrical without being choppy. I much prefer this to The Waves, for example. (But, like hightouch, I have not read To The Lighthouse). I often use excerpts from this novel for my students to imitate.
  5. The Awakening: Love it! I know, she kills herself in the end, but there are many descriptions of interior space and she moves from a house to an apartment. Plus many good details (especially the last two paragraphs).
  6. Our Mutual Friend: I actually really liked this despite the fact that it is so long. It also has lots of interior space issues. One thing I didn't like is all the minor characters who never recur. I was left wondering, well, what happened to them?
  7. Lolita: I once had a long fight with some friends of friends about authorial responsibility for writing novels about pedophilia. But I hadn't read Lolita when I had this discussion. I like to do that. But now I have read it, and I'm not sure how I feel about authorial responsibility, but I do know that Nabakov is a master. In his second language. Damn him!
  8. Beloved: I reread this for my exams and I have to say I didn't love it so much the second time, but I still like it. And I love the structure, so I'll keep it on my list.
  9. Tristam Shandy: I liked this book, but I liked the movie even more. I know the movie isn't in the canon, but still.
  10. Wieland: This is a shocker, I know, but I really liked this. I wrote a pretty good paper on this that my professor liked. My thesis was: She must be unhoused! (Sorry, I can't remember her name!). As you can see, many of these novels concern houses or interior space. It's my obsession. Deal with it.


Lisa B. said...

I love many of the novels you cite, esp. Our Mutual Friend. I love that book so much--I think largely because I wrote about it, which often is an activity that cements my love for a book.

Valerie said...

Ok, so I'm trying to start blogging again. I did my list of seven. you've been tagged again.

Son can come to my house for Thanksgiving!! He could sleep over the night before.

ErinAlice said...

Okay the only book I have read, much less heard of, is Jane Eyre, read it in Mrs. Soderquist's class. I have read others like Wuthering Heights, Catch 22, The Good Earth and the ever popular 80's novel: The Day After. I only remember Catch 22 because I loved it and wrote a lenghty paper on it. I feel like a literary loser but what can I say?

lis said...

I loved the movie version of Tristram Shandy and bought a copy of the book at a library book sale which I've been meaning to read because of the movie love. some day I will. You should read more Edith Wharton. I have all of her books, so if you need to borrow something, let me know. I love her.