A Bluffer's Guide to Literature
from US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (8/3/98 p 61)'s exerpt from
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
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?