Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Next Month - Sci-Fi!!

I have picked a book for us to read for next months Sci-Fi theme: Edenborn by Nick Sagan.

Since I officially know NOTHING about science fiction, I decided to select a title from the recommended reads listing on Novelist. If you can't get a copy of Edenborn, I suggest you find your way onto Novelist and pick another title from the same science fiction genre (there are a heap to choose from). Just look for the heading of 'Playing God'.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing for writing's sake

I find it really interesting the response to the importance of narrative structure in the books we are reading.
I've also recently read The razor's edge, by Somerset Maugham and Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, who, in telling other people's stories, have written themselves into that story as well, making the books a 'semi autobiographical fiction.'
There is evident structure in these books, even if time is played with in Slaughterhouse 5, but they are easy to follow and the purpose of the books is easily identified.
So, what I am getting at I suppose, is:
Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac- writing for writing's sake?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

how bout an easy question....

What are you reading and do you like it?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Character identification

Henry Miller's works often delve into a stream of consciousness type detour from the story. I find this is the place you find the real gems in fabulous quotes on how he sees the world.
How do you relate to the characters in your book? Do you feel like you know them better in that they are real experiences being described rather than ficticious events (whether you are reading it as a work of fiction or not)?

The journey

Kerouac himself described 'On the road' as (and I paraphrase) a book about two guys searching for something that they never actually find.

How does your autobiographical fiction selection differ to the normal narrative that you are used to? Is there a clear beginning, middle and end? How do you feel about the shift in literary conventions and bounds?

Memoir vs fiction

In the book 'Why Kerouac matters' the author writes about the themes of 'On the road.' He suggests "'Kerouac didn't mature, he sunk deeper into drink, insecurity and his mothers toxic bosom' But that's reading On the road as a memoir, not a work of fiction."
How are you reading your book of choice, as a fiction or non fiction work?
Does any prior knowledge you have of the author impact your relationship with the text?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The autobiography as fiction

Hi all and welcome to June.
Here we will discuss the autobiography as fiction and I posted some suggested reading a little while ago.
I recommend reading these, but if you have trouble getting a hold of anything or can't dig them, then I direct you to wikipedia lists where you will find helpful guide to this genre. You could even cheat for Kathryn's month and read 'In cold blood.' But that wouldn't be nearly as fun as reading two books! I'd also add to the list the book 'Henry and June' by Anais Nin, which is a fictionalisation of her diary of the year she had an affair with Henry Miller and his wife. The lib has a copy and I do too if anyone is interested. I picked up a copy of the Rum diary by Hunter S. on the weekend too, which I will pass around to all interested.
I will warn that I am trying to come up with some questions based around the form and style of the books recommended, but may very well move into discussions of the particular books I have suggested and some background knowledge as we compare the fiction to the real life.

Since it's only the first of June, I will give you some time to get settled in to your books before posting some questions, but keep an eye out because there may very well be something by the end of the week.

Happy reading!