The world’s most difficult books- have you read?

11Aug12

[It occurs to me that using my Tumblr account might be better for these sorts of things….]

Another Guardian book list…with a title and content that is always going to draw comment. It’s the world’s most difficult books:… “books that are hard to read for their length, or their syntax and style, or their structural and generic strangeness, or their odd experimental techniques, or their abstraction”.

The titles?
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes;
A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift;
The Phenomenology of Spirit by GF Hegel;
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf;
Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson;
 Finnegans Wake by James Joyce;
Being and Time by Martin Heidegger;
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser;
The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein;
and Women and Men by Joseph McElroy.

and my count is 2.

Well not true, I have the Djuna Barnes and the Virginia Wolf books- and I haven’t read either of them…

So reading an article and a list of *difficult reads* is not motivating for me at all! I don’t find it challenging. I guess my to-read pile is quite enormous without being challenged by difficult books. Sounds like a *difficult* child a bit doesn’t it?

I have never read any Virgina Wolf though (well none that I remember) and I have a few…so I should start with them, because I would like to read Virgina Wolf. I read loads of Katherine Mansfield in my 20s and I loved her.

And I wouldn’t mind reading Gertrude Stein and The Faerie Queene – well I feel I ought to sometime…

ah lists!!!

Currently reading The Solid Mandala- Patrick White. I read his “The Vivisector” at uni in the early 80s and didn’t like him/it at all. Only one chapter in so far- the bus trip with Mrs Poulter and Mrs Dun (if you have read it) – which I quite enjoyed.

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