I'm on vacation for the next week. Blogging will continue as I have a laptop with me but I don't know how consistent it will be. I reserved at an old fashioned motel right out of 1964 and never even bothered to check to see if they have Wi-Fi. If they don't, who knows how often I'll be able to log on. There aren't many Starbucks where I am going.
I'm going to start the day with an old-fashioned barbershop shave and then I pick up the rental and drive out east to where I spent my pre-teen years. I've packed a computer, a bottle of Bourbon, beachcombing clothes, several flyrods, binoculars, field guides to east coast flora and fauna and have loaded iTunes with Bobby Hackett, Frank Sinatra, Bing Cosby, Annette Hanshaw, Django and Bix. I also have a novel on CD for the trip but choose not to admit which one it is.
Okay, it's ChickLit and that is all I have to say. I picked it for its location (the east coast). It's one of those books that ....
My friend Jean bought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I think that is what it's called). Any way, she was in this rather pretentious bookstore that specializes in feminist books and literature but also handles enough best sellers to keep the cash flow up. Anyway, she saw the book and new she'd heard of it but didn't have the slightest idea what it was about. So she asked. The salesperson said, "It's a good read but it's not literature."
Jean gathered from this that the woman thought she ought not to buy it. So she did buy it. She thinks it's a great read but she knows she'll never read it again.
Anyway, we were discussing it and we both agreed that there are lots of books like that. The Serpentine One and I had a great time with a Zane Grey novel like that a few years ago. Just awful writing but great storytelling. (Grey was a Thesaurus writer.)
The reverse is true as well. There are books that are clearly literature but are just awful reading. Pretty much anything William Faulkner wrote, for example. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Paradise Lost, The Faerie Queen, Pale Fire, Moby Dick, all of Beckett. I could go but I won't. I have a novel on CD that I hope is good reading but not literature.