Sunday, February 8, 2009

English Literature

It appears I have a new email friend Scott who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and it appears he is one voracious reader. I wrote my usual shpil (sp??) about my post-Poisonwood Bible reading habits, Franzen and "The Corrections", Roth, my love for plays, including Shakespeare and Sheridan, but in the end I had to admit my fav author these last half a dozen years has been Nigella Lawson.

Then I said I haven't read nearly enough American classics.

I read "The Catcher in the Rye" in my junior (11th) year and thought it was the most boring, self-absorbed book I've ever read. And I thought "sonovabitch" was a code for an illusive Russian character, much to my classmates' delight, and asked Mr Wolf why it wasn't capitalized. And those are about the only "classics" I can recall. I read "The Scarlet Letter" after graduating from collage and loved the writing.

I had hoped to read American novels while I was an English major at college, in Minnesota, USA. It occurred to me for the very first time as I wrote today, (though I told him it was a while back), that in the US, English Lit means England-or-UK-English Literature, while in Japan, it means Written-in-English-of-All-Sort Literature. Because some readers and critics in Japan separate Scottish or Irish literature from England-English literature, when we say English, we mean the language.

Goolly Gee, the things you find out 30+ years after you graduate from high school!!! What a loss. Golly Gee. And five posts post-Etsy. So I can't shut up. Live with it.


  1. I loved Poisonwood Bible! And the word you misspelled is "spiel" FYI.

  2. I always stare blankly at the on-line Yiddish dictionary trying to remember what I needed... and it's only ever this one word...

    Now, Poisonwood Bible. I'm afraid that was the biggest let-down in my fiction reading life and after that I didn't read fiction for about five years. Great start, then the last 1/3 was like a different story - not carefully written, choppy, badly edited. But that's just my opinion. I found her story on the three women and one man, I think, much better. One was a moth specialist or something.


I love comments. Thank you for taking the time!