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Literary masturbation. Yep.

October 15, 2010

This is stolen from my friend CHRISTIAN who stole it from someone else. I love literary masturbation, and writing about myself, obviously, but since I briefly looked at this quiz and am now sitting down to write it, no pre-planning (as I do with all of my posts) I am thinking that maybe I will divine something about myself while I write it. Okay. Let’s go.

1.) What author do you own the most books by?

Faulkner. Obviously. I am far too effusive about Faulkner, but I really, really, really adore his writing style, the disjointed and visceral nature. Read him. Read As I Lay Dying.


2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I don’t. That’s interesting… I only have a teeny portion of my book collection here in Vancouver (really, really teeny. I had to cull) but even going through my collection at home in my head… maybe I have one or two copies of Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet, but that would be a leftover from school days. I don’t ever feel the need to buy more than one copy of a book. If I love it, I read it till it falls apart, and then buy a new one.


3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

HA. No, I didn’t notice. I’m not The Grammar Queen. There are others in my program who have that title.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Jewel Bundren. There is NO question about that. I wrote my entire essay for the end of my Modern Lit course on Jewel and his “animal magnetism.” He is fierce. Very fierce. Though I did read Tomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen this summer and fell in love with Ooneemeetoo Okimasis. (I cannot remember… I think his name was also Gabriel).


5) What book have you read the most times in your life:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. This also doubles as my favourite book ever. Ever. It’s not a classic or fancy choice, but I love it.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

A little older and it would have been anything by Francesca Lia Block. I was very much into the hardcore, old-school fairy tales when I was younger. The gruesome ones. I also loved The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. I was also reading The Hobbit around that age… maybe a bit younger.


7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Hrmmmmm. Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell. It was a remnant left up at the lodge I worked at. And I was desperate for lighter reading material. I made it through the whole thing, thank you very much.

8 ) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Kiss of the Fur Queen. Hands down. It was written in my kind of writing. Adjective-laden, lush, fantastical. I cried like a baby at the end of it. I also really appreciated Through Black Spruce, which I finally read this summer. ALSO, Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mean was LOVELY.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?

Oh, god. This is such a pretentious question. Anything by David Wojnarowicz. He writes on the AIDS crisis in the US during the 80s, and his voice is so vitriolic and so passionate that he renders me speechless. I think he is important, and beautiful. He was also an artist. He designed the cover for U2’s One.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

Erm… me? I’m sorry, I’m not very immersed in the world of literary prizes.


11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

Anything by Francesa Lia Block. I Was A Teenage Fairy, maybe. I would also love to see any fairytale about Baba Yaga really make it to the big screen. TS Eliot? And my book. The book I am writing. I want to see that on screen, too. Dream big.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

Hm. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I honestly.. that book.. it gave me a headache and it was damn scattered, and it felt like the seventh circle of hell at times. And it was hella long. I would also say anything by James Joyce because.. well.. I don’t like his writing. Sorry Jamesy! I think you are very full of yourself and I just don’t care. But the TOP CONTENDER would be… MIDDLEMARCH! Ugh.

13.) Weirdest dream involving a book, author, or literary character?

Nothing jumps to mind. I mainly dream about killing bedbugs or jumping as high as I can, or Kesagami.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

Some people might consider Alice Hoffman lowbrow, and so therefore I will say anything by Alice Hoffman. And I enjoyed every single one of them. I have also read a few of those Shopaholic books, and those are lowbrow. And a few David Bowie biographies.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Middlemarch by George Eliot was very hard to get through because it is about 800 pages of rural boredom. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner was difficult but rewarding. I needed a chart of character names and a timeline to get through, but it was worth it. James Joyce is also hard for me to get through. I tried my hand at Ulysses and said NO THANKS. I will have to revisit that.


16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

HA. Another DAMN pretentious question. I don’t see Shakespeare on stage too much. I mainly see A Dream In High Park, and those are always popular. So I have never seen any obscure Shakespeare play, nor read them. Sorry book nerds!

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Les Russes! Russians, obviously. Eastern Europe.

18) Roth or Updike?

NEITHER! Ask me about Spenser or Chaucer or Eliot or Auden. Being an English major means that you really focus in a specific area of English.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

Sedaris only because I have not read Eggers, and because I actually laughed out loud at “Me Talk Pretty One Day” – the actual essay, not the whole book.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

AHHHHHHHH. Okay I can handle this. Milton, baby. I’ve only ever read Paradise Lost, but to write at that comprehensive level in 1667 is mind blowing. Plus, he lost his sight! He had to have a scribe! How Homeric is that? Chaucer makes me laugh out loud because he is so, SO perverted (he wrote about a woman farting in a man’s face, out of a window, after making him kiss her literal asshole. Hello? Hilarious.) and Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew makes me fall on my knees, but Milton’s portrayal of Satan as beautiful and tempting and personable and empathetic, and God as a tyrant… it’s amazing.

21) Austen or Eliot?

ELIOT NO FUCKING CONTEST COME ONNNNNNN. Wait. Are we talking about George Eliot, or TS? There are a FEW ELIOTS HERE. I assume this means George Eliot in which case barf. Neither. Neither.


22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Everything contemporary. And that is a pretty big and embarrassing gap. I never know anything that anybody in my program references. Most of the writers I read are dead. And I like it like that.

23) What is your favorite novel?

This is the worst question ever, and yet it had to be asked. I have to give a list. Practical Magic is up there because I love it. As I Lay Dying blows my mind out of my head. Kiss of the Fur Queen is stunning. And then there are books of poetry – Hooked by Carolyn Smart, anything by Al Purdy, by Eliot, by Auden.

24) Play?

Oh. Hm. I have two. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard – mind BLASTINGLY beautiful. Also, if you want a steady mind fuck, The Homecoming by Harold Pinter.

25) Poem?

HAH. First of all, I’m taking a quote directly from Christian’s answers, regarding a fellow poet Adam Wray:

“I’m also a pretty big fan of south-end headphone seraphim by Adam Wray …. Oh, also, you should read Hooked, by Carolyn Smart. Just saying.”

That being said, Necropsy of Love. Al Purdy. It’s too beautiful for words, and it will always be my favourite poem. Eliot’s Wasteland is there, too, as is Auden’s Death’s Echo. (Amazing refrain.) And Written on the Flesh by Carolyn Smart, chased by Rickety Rackety. And that poem by Sheri-D Wilson about liquor, and Tyger by Blake and Poem (As The Cat) by William Carlos Williams, and and and and and COME ON I can go on forever.

26) Essay?

Don’t read many of these, actually. I wrote enough in undergrad to get my fill.

27) Short Story?

Hemingway’s “For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn.” Also, A Good Man Is Hard to Find by the stunning FLANNERY O’Connor.

28) Work of nonfiction?

This is not a genre I have explored, though The Nomadia Project is going to be exquisite.

28a) Graphic Novel? (This wasn’t in the original quiz, but it must be asked!)

Good addition, Christian!! I did love the Watchmen, but the Amulet books are my FAVOURITE. I CRIED while reading them.


28b) Miscellaneous other literary genres this quiz has failed to mention? (See above.)

Another interesting addition. Check out Kevin Spenst’s Twitter feed as an example. I think this is a very pressing question in our modern writing times.


29) Who is your favorite writer?

I like to look at Joseph Boyden. Does that count? Okay, in seriousness, Faulkner. I like that he was a dirty liar, and an alcoholic, and Southern, and so twisted.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Oh. Hm. No, that’s not an appropriate question to ask or answer. What is overrated for ME is top notch for someone else.

31) What is your desert island book?

Practical Magic.

31a) Weirdest book that you enjoyed reading? (I am adding this question myself because I want to.)

Another addition by Christian… hm. Weird as in it itself was a bizarre book, or weird in that I didn’t expect to enjoy it and therefore weirdly I did enjoy it? I found Brave New World very, very bizarre for the time period it was written in. I didn’t expect to enjoy The Crying of Lot 49. There. There are two answers.

32) And… what are you reading right now?

Writing assignments for the class I TA. Bookwise? NOTHING. Isn’t that awful? I’m still trying to slog through Absalom, Absalom!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 15, 2010 4:22 pm

    How could I have forgotten Al Purdy!?

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