Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Challenge 29.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series

Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked

Day 29.

Not everybody hates a Clockwork Orange but everybody the class I took in college on the Novel reacted unfavorably to a Clockwork Orange. I read it when I was a freshman in high school and I still love so much about it, about its opacity and vulnerability, but since that is what I love so much about it vs. what many people want out of a book - like a companionable experience - I get the rift. Also the violence, which, I'll have to read the book again - I wonder if I will, not soon - but the book played a significant role in my high school preoccupation with evoking violence in writing. I had this weird manuscript that was, in terms of content, very violent, and to begin with I typed it all in statement sentences, very documentarian, so that I wouldn't lose track of how the individual painful gestures were conceived. The hope was to, later, when I was skilled, rework the mss and evoke the acts rather than state them as they were performed. That got all weirded up when I considered the point of view, which characters were pursuing and obscuring what, which is more of a wellspring than a problem in terms of learning. But I wanted to be done with it. It drove me crazy. I don't even have a title for it, still.

In college, in my first fiction workshop, the text was Nine Stories. In some way it was brought up that JD Salinger had stated he felt like a failure at depicting the war. I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking about an escape I was trying to pull - that semester was bleak, and I was physically in a situation I couldn't be in that is kind of alluded to here. My friend was thinking about the text we were reading and responded vehemently that she felt that he captured it perfectly, the ravages of war, by avoiding any outright depiction of the war itself.

The next semester in the Novel, the professor said he had never seen the Kubrick film, and my friend Bill Mauro and I said yes yes!!! We regaled him of its genius and really wanted him to appreciate our appreciation of auteur cinema like our lives depended on it. I was out of peril and comfortably in a nice room with nice concerns like does everyone know how much critical theory I read and how much I love Ingmar Bergman? He said he heard Kubrick's a Clockwork Orange was rough going. I said it's really triggering if you've sustained sexual trauma, and I'm sure I didn't put it so tactfully. My friend said - I hear it angry, but I don't know, "let's not watch it, then." I have never felt worse.

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