A Bluffer's Guide to Literature

from US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (8/3/98 p 61)'s exerpt from Bluff Your Way in Literature

Armed with well-chosen lines, one can fake erudition 1. ULYSSES by James Joyce: Were you aware that much of Joyce's unconventional spelling and punctuation were typographical errors? 2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald His working title was "Trimalchio in East Egg" - a nod to the flashy party giver - but he preferred "Under the Red, White, and Blue". He was named for Francis Scott Key, you know. 3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce Don't let the "moocows" at the beginning put you off - promise me you'll read as far as the bedwetting. 4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov He coined the term nymphet, a play on the word for a forest sprite and the entomologist's term for incomplete metamorphosis. You know, Nabokov was an avid butterfly collector. 5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley Far more prophetic than Orwell, especially all that stuff media control. 6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner I don't know about you, but I would have appreciated Faulkner's plan to color-code the Benjy section. Too bad the publisher wouldn't go for it. 7. CATCH-22 by Josephy Heller Imagine our lexicon if they'd stuck with the original title - he wanted to call it "Catch 18" 8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler Unlike Rubashov, I wouldn't have stayed so loyal in prison at the hands of those fascist thugs. 9. SONDS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence What really fascinates me is the vivid portrayal of English mining life. I didn't understand the rest. 10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck Oh, I read it in high school. The John Ford movie was so much better, don't you think?

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