Turn of the Century Salon – a literary event

Hosted by Katherine at November’s Autumn.  My participation may be sporadic, but I’m going to try to fit this challenge into my schedule.  🙂

Here’s my answers to the questionnaire/prompts for January (Introduction):

  • What draws you to read the Classics?

Classics are works of art, unlike most contemporary fiction.  I love reading, and though I also love the era I live in, I cannot relate to it in the same way that I relate to classic lit and classic authors.  On the other hand, classics have taught me a lot about the modern world (some things never change).  I hope for there to be great authors in the 21st century, but it is looking doubtful – the books of today tend to display “quantity over quality” characteristics.

  • What era have you mainly read? Georgian? Victorian? Which authors?

19th century British lit.  It’s great, but right now I’m eager to read more world literature (and non-fic)!

  • What Classics have you read from the 1880s-1930s? What did you think of them?

Sherlock Holmes, H. G. Wells, some later Jules Verne works – all fabulous stuff!  Recently I read Shackleton’s South, which was extremely interesting, and within the last few years Conrad and Kafka have become two of my favorite authors.  Forster’s A Passage to India was not my cup of tea; on the other hand, I loved Rebecca (1938) and Agatha Christie.  So far, I prefer Victorian works from this era, but that may very well change.

  • Name some books you’re looking forward to read for the salon.

It’s not set in stone, but these are on my list:

  • Verne: Paris in the Twentieth Century (not sure if it counts, but it is futuristic and Verne is very much associated with the turn of the century)
  • Dostoyevsky: The Brothers Karamazov (1880)
  • Abbott: Flatland (1884)
  • Melville: Billy Budd (1888–1891)
  • Kafka (18831924): Complete Short Stories, The Castle, Diaries (maybe)
  • Hesse: Beneath the Wheel (1906)
  • Conrad: The Inheritors (1901, co-authored by Ford Madox Ford), Lord Jim (1899–1900), etc.
  • Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms (1929) 
  • Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • Which literary characters are you most akin to?

Marian Halcombe (The Woman in White), Tatyana Larina (Eugene Onegin), and Charlotte Bronte heroines.  Also, Sherlock Holmes and (to a certain degree) Razumov (Under Western Eyes).

  • Is your preference prose? poetry? both?

Thanks to Tolkien, I now love both.  Good poetry, however, is harder to find than good prose.





    4 responses to “Turn of the Century Salon – a literary event”

    1. Katherine Cox Avatar

      Yes! I've often wondered the same thing. What will be the Classics from our era? I've not read Tolkien's poetry, must go look it up. 🙂


    2. Donna Avatar

      I'm impressed that you like Kafka and Freud. I find them difficult. I wish I had a love of poetry, but it somehow eludes me too. But I did love The Brothers Karamazov, The Great Gatsby, and (with some reservations) A Farewell to Arms.


    3. JaneGS Avatar

      Marian Halcombe is one of my favorites as well–I wish The Woman in White had been more about her than her insipid half-sister.I forgot about Herman Hesse! He was so in vogue when I was young, but I never did read anything by him. Same with Kafka. I had a copy of Flatland for years, and started it but didn't get far. I'll be interested to read what you think about it.


    4. Tasha B. Avatar

      I read Paris In the Twentieth Century a few years ago. It was okay. It wasn't really my thing because there wasn't much of a story; it was more a treatise about technology in \”the future.\”


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