Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Rhymes without reason

Over here Patrick Kurp plays a listy, desert island discy game. “Name the fifteen books that have most influenced your thinking, that you have found yourself referring to most often in reflection, speech, and writing.”

His list is quite worthy. I thought about having a go but these things are hard to do unselfconsciously. Strangely, the first one that popped into my head was ‘Rhymes without Reason’ by Mervyn Peake, which is now out of print, I think.

This surprised me, I must go and dig it out of the attic.


Gaw said...

Fifteen's a lot. I'm not sure I've read that many memorable books.

monix said...

It is always a mistake to go into the attic in search of a single book.

I find these lists of favourite or significant books, films, music etc impossible to do. My memories and tastes must be too fickle

worm said...

yep, and lots of books that I find memorable are not books that I now rate at all, although naturally I did at the time.

You always arrive in front of a book at different points in your development, and what you absorb and identify with from the book is specific to your immediate circumstances. Naturally these circumstances change and what was once important becomes trivial and vice versa.

That having been said, perhaps I should start enlivening conversations by quoting extensively from the back catalogue of Sven Hassel

Gadjo Dilo said...

15 is indeed a lot of books, but I'd be up for this game. (15 though. I'm sure I've read more than that but can I remeber which ones they were??)

Brit said...

Thinking about this, the books that have made the most impression on me have usually done so because they have a certain mood, or operate in a certain strange place, rather than because they offer a lesson or change my mind about something.

So Mervyn Peake, A Handful of Dust by Eveleyn Waugh, The Hunting of the Snark, The Once and Future King by TH White, A Singular Man by JP Donleavy.

Ulysses and Auden would probably be the only highbrow things on there, if I was completely honest about it. The first time I can remember being deeply content reading a book was Wind in the Willows, at primary school.