I can definitely relate to that.http://forums.millarworld.tv/t/maybes-skids/314/1106?source_topic_id=28
You are not alone. It blew my mind as well.
I came to it after reading the Sandman stories with Fiddler’s Green and reading The Napoleon of Notting Hill. I’m always surprised that it isn’t better known.
Also…I forgot to mention The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay amongst my list of favourites. And Good Omens.
Yeah, for me it was also Gaiman who pointed me towards Chesterton.
Who says that comics aren’t educational, eh?
I’ve mentioned before I got a special merit in a music class down to information I got from Uncanny X-Men.
(It was Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the hunter was called Nimrod).
My personal favourite is the Of Man and Manta trilogy (Omnivore, Orn, 0X) by Piers Anthony. Sure, it’s not highbrow stuff, but I read them over to cheer me up when watching Doc Savage: Man of Bronze isn’t enough.
Others that spring to mind:
The Road - Cormac MCcarthy
The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg
The Prestige - Christopher Priest
What’s with that URL - “maybes skids”?
Immediately before the last round of thread reboots, some of the regular threads were hilariously renamed. That thread used to be about Babies & Kids.
How is it possible that Doc Savage: Man of Bronze isn’t enough?
I finished “The Big Sleep” a week or so ago and I’ve been reading a funny little pulp novel I found called, “Surfing Samurai Robots” by Mel Gilden. I bought for the cover. I’m a sucker for pulps and their cover art. The main character is obsessed with Philip Marlowe, so I just had to read it after reading “The Big Sleep.”
Journey to the West
That’s been on my “must read” list for 35 years One day…
There are times when I am fairly certain that the Winnie the Pooh books are the best that the English language has ever produced. They contain multitudes of wisdom, so simply and lyrically told.
In all languages, and I’ve only read translations, I think The Stranger is the finest book ever written.
Very true. The same could be said about The Moomins.
Great article. I read L’Etranger in the original French many years ago but it was when I was a young student and I’m sure I missed some of the nuances. I should revisit it.
I tried reading it in French when I was living in London (and learning French) but I found it so slow going I gave up. I tried to do that with Madame Bovary too (and another book, but I can’t remember what… maybe it was a Sartre),
I would love to be able to read a book in it’s original language - stuff like a Murakami or a Bolano would be so awesome - but I don’t think there’s any point unless you’re an absolute expert at that language because otherwise, as you say, the nuance is lost.
EDIT: IIRC the third book I tried to read in French was Atomised by Houllebecq.
There is a fantastic book by Umberto Eco called Mouse or Rat? * which is a collection of lectures that are all about translation and how difficult (impossible?) it is to translate works perfectly, given everything that goes into the choice of language by the original author, and the larger contexts that surround it. It’s a really excellent read.
[* the title is an allusion to Hamlet and the different ways in which the discovery of Polonius - “A rat!” - is translated in different languages, depending on the connotations of the words in those languages. The book’s subtitle - Translation as negotiation - gives you a good pointer as to how translation is characterised as an imperfect notion that’s all about striking a balance that gets you as close as possible to the original, rather than striving for something that’s absolutely faithful.]
I mention it because I’m always acutely aware when reading translations that you’re reading the original work through the filter of a translator, and part of me always wants to experience it ‘pure’ and from the source. But unless you’re fluent in the original language, I think it always makes more sense to rely on a competent translator to get you closer to the spirit of the original work than you would manage to get on your own.
That sounds good - part of me has always wondered if Murakami’s principal translator for English, Jay Rubin - may be owed at least some kudos for his international success.
I do (or did) know enough French to read comics in French, and stuff like The Little Prince.
Camus is well past my level, however. I think I tried Proust once and it was completely futile.