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12 July 2010

Book Survey VII

1) One Book That Changed Your Life:
Brer Rabbit’s a Rascal by Enid Blyton. You may think that novel is a little limited in life changing potential, however, some of my earliest memories are of my Dad reading it to me when I was about three. It was also one of the first books I learnt to read. It still fires my brain cells! Brer Rabbit is the first trickster motif that I fell in love with. It started a trend that will probably follow me til I die. It's also one of the reasons I was fascinated by anthropology and creation myths. Most cultures have a trickster figure present, and rather than being a side character, they tend to be key to the mythos of the culture. They also aren’t a negative or "evil" figure as they are mostly interpreted, but one of curiosity, intelligence, and change.

2) One Book You Have To Read More Than Once:
One? ONE??!! You are kidding right? It would be easier to list books I have only read once *snickers*

3) One Book You'd Want On A Desert Island:
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. If I was stranded with no distractions I could then do it justice. Every time I become immersed in it, a new paperback I have been waiting for arrives at Galaxy, and I put it aside again. It is in Middle English, written between 1387 and 1400 AD, so I have to dive into the language to be able to read it smoothly. Just a hint, reading Middle English is easier if you sound out the words you don't know - they tend to be archaic forms of Modern English, and whilst the spelling can appear alien at times, often times, they do sound similar enough to deduce.

4) Two Books That Made You Laugh:
Anything by Terry Pratchett or Piers Antony! :D

5) One Book That Made You Cry:
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson.

6) One Book You'd Wish You'd Written:
Beowulf. It is a saga, not a novel, but I love the story, and I love the Old English poetry style. I love the words as well - both speaking them, and the imagery they invoke. They have compound words like swan-rād (swan-road = sea), hringedstefna (ring-curved = ship's prowl), etc. which have such beautiful connotations. There are so many of them. If you read Beowulf, or The Battle of Maldon or any other Anglo Saxon verse, you stumble over all these beautiful words. The compound words for sea (mere) are beautiful - whale-road, swan-road, swan-path, whale-path, sea-path, whale-way (hwælweg) etc - there is even a poem written about the sea being another woman and leaving a warrior's wife at home crying because the mistress (the sea) has stolen her man. I love their culture, and just reading their words and poetry show you why! The other thing I really love and admire about Anglo Saxon poetry is the alliteration. I have always been drawn to alliteration, and the Anglo Saxon's were masters! Their poetry was originally spoken, not written, and it is so easy to chant. It just rolls off the tongue. It is also very rhythmical, with the half-lines broken by a caesura. There is just something about Anglo Saxon poetry that fires my synapses. And if I could write anything in the world, though out time and space, it would be an amazing piece of Old English poetry like Beowulf.

7) One Book You Wish Was NEVER Written:
I don't have one. I can see why all books have been written, and I am anti-censorship. Just because I don't appreciate a book, does not make it unworthy of someone else's time.

8) Two Books You Are Currently Reading:
Checkers by John Marsden and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

9) One Book You've Been Meaning To Read:
1984 by George Orwell.

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