Thursday, August 11, 2011

Literary Beat Down

Juliet Lapidos of Slate gets a bunch of little authors to beat up on some big ones.

These authors were asked to identify the "great books" they found most overated. I found myself sneakingly sympathetic when the most popular target turned out to be Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow though that sympathy curdled a bit when I found many hadn't finished it. Ulysses didn't fare so well either - but I didn't finish that one.

The most outrageous example was Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, who gave up on The Alexandria Quartet after two and one half pages. Those books made a huge impression on this (impressionable) 19 year-old, though part of it might have been that Lawrence tried to link his method to the theory of relativity.