14 February 2006

Close Encounters Of The Word Kind

     The delightfully-monikered Ancrene Wiseass brought my attention to a literary speed-dating meme that seems to be making the rounds.  Larking about, I figured I'd offer my response.  The premise?  Identify the three books that would be Turn-Ons, three Kids-Lit books (ostensibly demonstrating one's attitude toward brat-chelism), and another three that would be Turn-Offs.  Okay, here are my answers, then, in the closest approximation to "speed dating" in which I'll ever engage:
My List (aka "The Turn-Ons")
1)  Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers
2)  Wallace Stevens, Collected Poetry and Prose
3)  Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote
If you know these works, you more or less have me figured out in a nut-shell.  I'll let you do the divining.
My Kid-Lit List
I don't do kid-lit.  Ask me to remember what I read when I was a kid, and I won't be able to tell you.  But I guess my kids would be getting Blake's Songs of Innocence, The Complete Lewis Carroll, and a variation (rendered intelligible) of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  These probably seem more high-falutin' than I intend.
My Turn-Offs-List
1)  Anything by Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen and/or Toni Morrison, all of whom I group here as one so I don't use up all three of my choices on them and end up falsely accused of misogyny.  (Also, just about anything recommended by Oprah.)
2)  Just about anything about vampires and related chic-gothica, Bram Stoker and all three Brontes excepted. 
3)  Just about any book that uses any of the following words in its title: "diaspora," "discourse," "gender," "alterity," "problematics," "negotiations," "constructions," and "self-fashionings."  Also anything using more than two dicritical marks or which soporifically proposes to discuss "framing the gaze." 
Oh, there's a grumpy list, isn't it?  Snark.  What else did you expect?  There is no crankiness like mine....

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