le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

international reading: booking through thursday

This week's Booking Through Thursday:
Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

Well, OF COURSE there are!
The easy answer here is British literature, which is really where my heart is. My favorites are largely British: Dickens, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, everything by Diana Wynne Jones. Lately, I've been zipping through Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie, as well.
Dylan Thomas (Welsh) and J.M. Barrie (Scottish) are also high on my list.
And recently I fell head-over-heels for Melina Marchetta's Jellicoe Road, which brings Australia into the Anglophone favorites list.

But these are all still Anglo/English language, so I'm going to look further afield.

Non-Anglophone favorites:
Petersburg, by Andrei Bely (Russian)
Crime & Punishment, Dostoevsky (Russian)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez (Colombia)
Wind-up Bird Chronicle  and Kafka on the Shore, both by Haruki Murakami (Japan)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (France)
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino (Italian)

This is in no way a comprehensive list, just a few highlights. But it's a sad truth that most of my reading is solidly Anglophone; it's just not as easy to find great non-Anglo books as it is to find great Anglo ones. It isn't especially difficult to come by the non-Anglo titles - searching out Nobel Literature winners' titles, for instance, is pretty easy. But the majority of what's placed on ready offer, in conspicuous locations, is Anglo - British or American. Even Canadian and Australian titles are more obscure. This is unfortunate, because the rest of the world surely does have great writers and great things to say. Language is limiting in ways that are maddening.

1 comment:

Liska said...

"My favorites are largely British: Dickens, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, everything by Diana Wynne Jones. "

^ I forgot all about these books/authors in my list! I don't know how, because they're some of my favorites. Anyways, good picks =)