Saturday, February 04, 2006

Literary speed dating meme

Julie suggests that we put our cards on the table and reveal the three books we'd take with us to a literary speed dating event. Putting the question of strategy aside, here are three books that both jumped out at me as likely candidates and are (I hope) not too damaging:

1. Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent.

2. M.F.K. Fisher, Serve it Forth. I'm not dating anyone who doesn't like food, or doesn't like my liking food.

3. Alternate choices: In an ideal world, I'd include Helen DeWitt's The Last Samurai, a fantastic novel from a few years ago, but no one I know has read it (except Jenny at Light Reading; I think I saw a post on it a while back). And whenever I recommend it I have to explain that no, it doesn't have anything to do with the Tom Cruise movie of the same name, which came out later. So

3a. Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled. I hesitated a bit about which Ishiguro, but The Unconsoled has the benefit of being long, to show date-person I like reading and am not scared of thick books.

Any thoughts?


Lucy said...

I liked the Last Samurai :)

Jenny D said...

Clearly I would go out on a date with you! The Last Samurai is one of my favorite novels ever, and I am SO on the "Secret Agent"/Ishiguro thing too. However I feel that while (a) I am resolutely anti-the idea of dating of any kind including literary speed and (b) I can't really take this seriously, (c) if I actually thought about what kind of (well, let's admit it, probably I'm looking for a boy) datee I wanted to attract, I would have to pick 3 extremely violent noirish crime novels. It would be too grim if I only had male authors, but the boys do read more boys than girls, so I would have Ken Bruen's White Trilogy, Sara Gran's Dope and perhaps Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys just to increase the chance that I wouldn't end up with a psychopathic heroin-shooting ear-cutting-off-type boy (which is basically exactly my type, but would be unlikely to be found at the literary speed-dating event as it's been laid forth)... The trouble is it too easily devolves into a "my taste is interesting" kind of thing, and we would have to pick slightly differently if we were actually going to maximize the chances that our choices were going to mean something to other people. As you've gestured to here, with the whole DeWitt thing. We must have a crusade to get that novel more widely read!

So that's what I think...

Phantom Scribbler said...

Hmmm. In my comments I think I said I would marry anyone who showed up with M.F.K. Fisher.

I just hope my husband doesn't mind.

kermitthefrog said...

Lucy and Jenny -- Two thumbs up for DeWitt. I keep hoping that she'll come out with another one.

Jenny - I'm with you on the concept of "literary speed dating." On the other hand, it does seem to have performed its function within the world of blogs, as evidenced by

Phantom - Thank you for your proposal. However, I will have to respectfully decline. I'm just not ready for kids right now. But I will continue to think fondly of you.