It's the second week of Nonfiction November and Sarah (thanks for co-hosting!) of Sarah's Bookshelves challenges us to match up nonfiction reading with fiction reading. I've got two that have been in my mind for a while, one for a very long time.
Steinbeck On How To Write A Novel (with Novel)
|Humpty, meet John; John, meet Humpty|
I read East of Eden years ago, though I've seen the movie more recently; it's one of the great Steinbeck novels, even if I find Cathy Ames just a wee bit too monstrous. ("Bad divorce, John?" "Humpty, let me tell you! Grumble, grumble...") But the idea is to read them both together.
And Now I'm Ready At Last...
|Humpty had a great Fall (or at least Nonfiction November)|
Years ago I started reading Edmund Wilson's Axel's Castle (literary criticism about Joyce, Proust, Eliot, Yeats, Valery, and Gertrude Stein published in 1931) and I thought (at the time) this is hopeless! I haven't read any of these books. Generally I like Wilson's nonfiction, especially To The Finland Station.
Well, I had probably read Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by then, which is hiding in there between Yeats and Proust. But still.
Now, it's years later, and while I'm sure there are still books discussed in Axel's Castle I haven't read, I'm kind of hoping I'm close enough to make sense of the book. In any case I put it on my Classics Club list.
Finnegans Wake (in the picture) is still Unnamed Work In Progress at the time of Axel's Castle. Wilson managed to score a couple of passages and quoted them at the end of his book, but fortunately won't be discussing that particular still-for-me unreadable volume of Joyce.
Missing from the picture is Gertrude Stein. I don't know where she's hiding...shy, I guess...
Looking forward to other great pairings. Happy Nonfiction November!