Posts Tagged ‘french literature’

19th September
written by Steph
Great book, but mind the translation!

Great book, but mind the translation!

It may seem premature to start looking at my reading list and taking stock of trends and gaps in my reading for the year, but I fully admit that I’ve already begun to do so. Perhaps my passing the “50 Books Read” mark has had something to do with it (this is the first time I’ve read so many books in one 12-month period!). I didn’t have any hard set goals for my reading, as I don’t like to restrict myself in that way. I really just wanted to read more books, and hopefully find a few gems. Looking at my list thus far, one thing I was a bit saddened to realize is that I haven’t read many so-called classics this year. True, I have crossed some titles off the 1001 Books list, but even those titles tend to fall on the more contemporary end of the spectrum. While I’ve read many very good (modern) books this year, I have felt to some extent that I’ve read a lot of middling and mediocre books as well. I know that labeling a book a “Classic” does not guarantee that it will be a book that I find worthwhile or even one that I enjoy, but I suppose that I do feel that there must be a reason these books continue to be published and taught, centuries after their initial publication. Also, I do feel like I’ve grown unaccustomed to reading classics, and so while they are slightly outside my literary sweet spot, I also find them challenging. But in a good way!  I feel they cause my mind to stretch and flex in a way reading more contemporary literature rarely does, and even if at times classics may bog me down, I tend to feel invigorated afterwards, like nothing is beyond my reading comprehension. Anyway, back on track here, I decided to read Madame Bovary mostly because it was sitting in our apartment unread and also it was quite a bit slimmer than many of the other classics we have reposing on our shelves. I tend to find long books daunting, so I figured a shorter classic (which would already likely prove challenging in and of itself) was probably a good way to ease myself back in. (more…)