Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another Book Meme

Jaco Pastorius from CUANAS got me back from the last time I tagged him.

1. Total Number of books I've owned: - I would say about 2000, but the staggering realization is how many books I've owned and lost. OK, there was a lot of New Age claptrap, stripped books from when I worked at Barnes & Noble in college, lots of spy and military novels that I sold back to the used bookstores to get more of the same. But I must have bought In the Garden of North American Martyrs at least three times, ditto for One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gravity's Rainbow and everything by Mark Helprin at least twice...

And what about all those first run Arkham House editions I bought mail order in my HP Lovecraft phase? Some of them probably would have been worth...hundreds by now.

2. Last book I bought: Havana by Stephen Hunter. Colt liked it and we discussed which actors we thought should play Earl and/or Bob Lee Swagger when they finally start making the movies. Right now it's not up there with my favorites like Hot Springs, Black Light or Dirty White Boys. I think I'll like it better on the second reading. His evocation of Havana is even better than Dan Simmons' in The Crook Factory.

3. Last Book I Read:
I just re-read his essay on faerie stories in The Tolkien Reader. Highly recommended. If you are at all interested in philology, myth, or the English language this is like a dragon's treasure-hoard.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me: 1) Like Jaco, the Bible will always top the list. Usually I would share some scintillating theological insight, but I realized that with any other book I would address those that hadn't read it. I would avoid spoilers and give a blurb as to who might also enjoy the book and why. A teacher once pointed out to me that the two greatest works of the modern English language, the King James Version and the works of Shakespeare, appeared at roughly the same time. When prayer was banished from public education, the Bible went with it, thus robbing our culture of much of it's linguistic foundation. William Blake was an under-educated engraver's apprentice, but wrote his majestic, if quirky poetry on the strength of his Biblical diction. Reading the Bible as an epic of a people God chose, as a love story of a Parent Who never gave up the quest for his children will, with a little patience, reveal its incomparable narrative power.
I mentioned most of the important books in the last book meme. I will mention that there is a book that I neglected. It is associated with my childhood and unlocks a flood of beautiful poignant associations and crystaline memories. Either I've forgotten what it was, or was supposed to write it myself and never did. When I figure out which it is, I'll let you know.

5. People I will infect with this meme: For now, no one. Tagging someone with a book meme is like asking someone to help you move. I personally like book memes as an excuse to get further inside someone's head. So watch out, when you least expect it...
papijoe 3:39 PM