Friday, November 12, 2010

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

I just stumbled upon this new blog hop from the Blue Bookcase, and it hit me like a breath of fresh air. So first off, thank you blue bookcase! I can't wait to join you every week.

This blog hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion.
How do I know if my blog qualifies as "literary"? Literature has many definitions, but for our purposes your blog qualifies as "literary" if it focuses primarily on texts with aesthetic merit. In other words, texts that show quality not only in narrative but also in the effect of their language and structure.
This week's question comes from Debbie Nance at Readerbuzz
What is the most difficult literary work you've ever read? What made it so difficult?
I think one of the most difficult literary works I've read is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and this is because it is just so darn sad. All Lenny and George want out of life is the chance to have one that is worth living, and they are just so overwhelmingly denied that. It makes me angry and sad and somewhat disgusted every time I think of it. 
Another one that comes to mind is Notes from the Underground by Dostoyevsky. This is also incredibly depressing, so much so that I had to pause, read something else, and come back to it. Russian literature I can only take in small doses, so that the bleakness emanating from the book doesn't overwhelm me entirely.  

What about you? What were your difficult books?


toni said...

oooh of mice and men, that's one I actually liked!

I agree with you about notes from underground. I'm only half way through, I started at the beginning of the year! hmm should finish that :p

For me it wasn't the bleakness so much (because I love that kinda stuff!) but the rambling. It's very philosophical, I think, and all over the place, I found it hard to get any sort of bearing, let alone understanding!

happy hopping :)

Charlie said...

Oh yes, Mice and Men was tough. I had a strange connection with Notes from Underground. I really fell deeply into that book.


IngridLola said...

Russian literature, especially Dostoevsky does have a tendency to be depressing, doesn't it ...

parrish lantern said...

I love Dostoevsky, went through a big russian phase, when i was younger & still have a soft spot for their novels, enjoyed your post;Thanks

JoAnn said...

I loved Of Mice and Men, but have never been brave enough to tackle Dostoyevsky.

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Rose City Reader said...

Good choices!

This was a fun question to answer. My pick was Finnegans Wake.

Rose City Reader

readerbuzz said...

It is very difficult for me to read the bleak stories. Of Mice and Men is definitely bleak.

I wonder why it is the serious books that we, well, take seriously. No funny yet difficult books?

Here's my post:

Red said...

I haven't read Of Mice and Men because I've heard how sad it is. I'm sure it will be a great book but I just have trouble psyching myself up to even get started.

gautami tripathy said...

I like Steinbeck although yet to read The Grapes of Wrath, which I acquired via bookmooch!

I have read a lot of classics in my school and college years. And some still remain my favorites. However, there are a few I could never get into..

Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

MJ said...

Don't get me wrong- I love Steinbeck-East of Eden is one of my all time favorites! Of Mice and Men was just really difficult for me.

bibliophiliac said...

Depressing books can be difficult to read for that reason. My favorite Steinbeck book is East of Eden. My favorite Dostoyevsky (so far) is Crime and Punishment. Overall, the Russians have produced a large amount of very somber literature!

litlove said...

I'm here from the blog hop - it's a great way to find new blogs. I haven't read either of these books because they strike me as bleak and difficult. I will read all sorts of challenging books, but I do appreciate it if the author throws in a joke or two as well! Maybe one of the things that makes a book difficult is the absence of humour to make the situation look a bit more tolerable. In life as in literature, we're lost without that.