Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
And, in the name of all that's holy, how can anybody think the Grapes of Wrath is boring?
I read it in the seventh grade and cried my eyeballs out for a week. Maybe I need to start reading Actual Books again instead of MDC.
I realize my loathing of these books and American authors sounds strange, but maybe the fact that Oscar Wilde is my absolute favorite author would explain things.
I like the grand, opulent and surreal and those authors who are able to summon up words that evoke certain majestic feelings in the reader. So I lean heavily towards English and French authors.
As an example, Rimbaud's A Season In Hell
from which I read:
I got used to elementary hallucinations. I could very precisely see a mosque instead of a factory, a drum corps of angels, horse carts on the highways of the sky, a drawing room at the bottom of a lake; monsters and mysteries. A vaudeville's title filled me with awe.
Or the highly evil Lautreamont's Maldoror in which a scene takes place in a church where Maldoror seizes a lamp that turns into an angel, he hurts the angel, and the angel becomes a lamp again and he says:
The guilty one looks at the lamp, the cause of all the preceding events. He runs like a madman through the streets of the Seine and flings the lamp over the parapet. It whirls around for a few seconds and then plunges down into the murky waters. Since that day, every evening from nightfall onwards a shining lamp can be seen which rises and floats gracefully on the water, passes beneath the arches just off the Pont Napoleon, bearing instead of handles two charming little angel's wings.
I t moves forward slowly on the water, passes beneath the arches of the Pont de la Gare and the Pont d'Austerlitz, and continues on its silent course along the Seine as far as the Pont d'Alma. Once there, it turns easily again to follow the course of the river, returning after four hours to its starting point. Its light, white as electric light, eclipses that of the gas lamps bordering the banks between which she advances like a queen, solitary, inscrutable, with an inextinguishable smile, not bitterly spilling its oil.
In the beginning, the boats gave it chase; but it foiled these vain efforts, escaped from all pursits, diving like a coquette to reappear a long way further on. now superstituous sailors stop singing when they see it, and row in the opposite direction. When you are crossing a bridge by night, be careful; you are bound to see the lamp shining somewhere or other; although it is said that it does not show itself to everyone. When a human being with something on his conscience crosses the bridge, its light suddely goes out, and the man, terror-stricken, vainly and desperately peers at the surface and the mudbanks of the river. He knows what that means.
Needless to say, I prefer descriptions of this nature to those of Steinbeck's. Or even Denton Welch's descriptions of England which, while not surreal, bring lovely visions to my mind with his words. This is an author that is truly underrated and not enough people know about him.