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You have received this note because someone thinks you are a literary geek. Copy the questions into your own note, answer the questions, and tag any friends who would appreciate the quiz, including the person who sent you this...
1) What author do you own the most books by?
William Shakespeare and Tolkien. Even steven, because I own several copies of each Shakespeare play. I am still contemplating buying an Arden copy of Hamlet, but I have to wait till I get another Tolkien book. Need to divide love equally – I am strange that way. Though if we count the amount of commentary I have on Tolkien then Tolkien hands-down.
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
Hmmm. I counted the other day when I was finally cataloguing my books, and while I thought it would have been either The Hobbit or The Two Towers, I was wrong. It is The Merchant of Venice. I don't even like the play.
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
They sounded strange, but no, I am not overly perturbed.
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Secretly? Beleg, only because he is so little known that I can’t tell anyone. Otherwise, all my fictional love is open to all.
5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
Ah…. Tough call between The Silmarillion and The Two Towers.
6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Primary Four? Good lord. I’d have to go leaf through my books to see, but at that point, probably The Three Investigators.
7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
I have been pretty fortunate with my book choices recently, so I can’t really recall a bad book. Even Gargoyle turned out better than it started.
8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Oh dear. Again I’ll have to leaf through my books to find out the exact dates – but Eleanor Updale’s Montmorency’s Revenge ranks very, very high. A more recent, great read’s A S Byatt’s Possession.
9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
The Silmarillion – J R R Tolkien, but because that is like forcing people to read the Bible, Eleanor Updale’s Montmorency.
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
Not unless they start giving out Nobel Prizes for YA Literature writers.
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
At this point in time, The Housekeeper and the Professor. The entire blooming book is like a Japanese movie as it is.
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Please don’t ever, ever make a movie on Turin. (The Children of Hurin, or the Silmarillion). Not even Peter Jackson.
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
How about the time I had a long, long running dream series of Glorfindel and Erestor through the First Age, lost the Second Age (I have a huge gap between the fall of Gondolin and the battle of Dagorlad, so my subconscious couldn’t do much story telling) and had a surreal experience of watching the Council of the Elrond through Erestor?
Yes. If it is not apparent by now, I am a huge, huge Tolkien dork.
14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
No book is really lowbrow – rather pretentious to think that way. Of course that’s my way of masking the fact that ALL I read is lowbrow. Save Tolkien.
15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Hmmmm. I don’t usually read ‘difficult’ books, seeing how my brain cells can’t take them in- but Ulysses and the Romance of the Red Chamber (in Chinese) compete for first spot.
16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
Troilus and Cressida.
17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
18) Roth or Updike?
ooooh. It is gratifying to know I am not the only one to see the two as a “pair”. It depends – Roth for his commentary but he gets so, erm, self-indulgent and predictable – going with updike.
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Read the former but not the latter. Will rectify that.
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
TOUGH. Erm…. It’s between Shakespeare and Chaucer. I LOVE Chaucer, but Shakespeare has the advantage of range.
21) Austen or Eliot?
Eliot. Hands down. Beyond the shadow of a doubt.
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Hmmm. I still haven’t gotten around to Dune. I FAIL.
23) What is your favourite novel?
What is the definition of novel? In the traditional sense, The Mill on the Floss. If the definition is more forgiving, the Silmarillion.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams [Somehow Hamlet seems more than just a play – but otherwise, Shakespeare’s Hamlet]
It’s between Thomas hardy’s Darkling Thrush or the W H Auden’s poem below.
The Unknown Citizen by W. H. Auden
(To JS/07/M/378/ This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)
He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war,
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
I like how this meme assumes we know our essays too, ha. I’d have said instinctively Tolkien’s On Fairy Stories, but really, Auden’s essay on D H Lawrence (since his lectures on Shakespeare don’t really count):
The artist, the man who makes, is less important to mankind, for good or evil, than the apostle, the man with a message. Without a religion, a philosophy, a code of behavior, call it what you will, men cannot live at all; what they believe may be absurd or revolting, but they have to believe something. On the other hand, however much the arts may mean to us, it is possible to imagine our lives without them.
27) Short story?
Oh good lord. How to choose… Do fairy tales count? If not, Neil Gaiman’s Four and Twenty Blackbirds?
28) Work of nonfiction?
29) Who is your favorite writer?
No one reading this will actually need me to answer this.
30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Stephanie Meyer. But then again, she is not rated as a writer, non?
31) What is your desert island book?
32) And... what are you reading right now?
Concurrently: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey; When we were orphans and a few Chinese novels.