Thursday, March 31, 2011

Literary Blog Hop: March 31-April 2

Welcome to the Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase!

This blog hop is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion.

How do I know if my blog qualifies as "literary"? Literature has many definitions, but for our purposes your blog qualifies as "literary" if it focuses primarily on texts with aesthetic merit. In other words, texts that show quality not only in narrative but also in the effect of their language and structure. YA literature may fit into this category, but if your blog focuses primarily on non-literary YA, fantasy, romance, paranormal romance, or chick lit, you may prefer to join the blog hop at Crazy-for-books that is open to book blogs of all kinds.

Instructions for entering the Literary Blog Hop:

1. Grab the code for the Button.

Literary Blog Hop

2. Answer the following prompt on your blog.

(Suggestions for future prompts? Email to them us at

Do you find yourself predisposed to like (or dislike) books that are generally accepted as great books and have been incorporated into the literary canon? Discuss the affect you believe a book’s “status” has on your opinion of it.

Our answer comes from Meagan:

When I was maybe thirteen years old, the talk around the family dinner table one night turned to Africa. I've long since forgotten the specific details, but the outcome of the conversation was that my dad ran to Blockbuster and brought back a copy of "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

"You'll LOVE it!" he enthused.

"It's fantastic!" my mom chimed in.

So our entire family eagerly sat down to watch this supposed classic.

But for any of you that have seen the movie, the first ten minutes or so play like a really bad Animal Planet documentary. My siblings and I began to grow restless. What was this dated footage with the boring voice over? Was this our parents' sneaky way of getting us to do something "educational"? Had we been duped?

Our parents told us to be patient though, and eventually things took a turn for the better. By the time the credits were rolling we were all wiping away tears of laughter and making plans to watch the sequel as soon as possible.


That experience describes how I feel about the so-called "great books" in the literary canon. I'm not really predisposed to like or dislike a classic because I've been exposed to enough good literature to know that each and every one of these books run the gamut of being treasured to despised. For example, as I think I've mentioned before, I kind of hated Gone With the Wind; but, I know it's one of Connie's absolute favorites and I don't think either of us are alone in our feelings and our opinions are divided by those of millions of other readers whose lukewarm feelings have them balancing somewhere in the more apathetic middle.

However, I usually put a lot of trust in the recommendations of people I respect. Just as my parents' promise of a fantastic film made me suspend my disbelief longer than I would have had I come across "The Gods Must Be Crazy" on my own, the fact that the books which are considered classics usually achieved that status because of the opinions of people who are or were widely respected makes me more likely to read further past the point where I would normally abandon a book not held in such esteem.

And nine times out of ten, popular opinion will be proven right. I loved the movie. I usually love the book. So when I hear of a book described as "great" or "classic", I generally reserve judgment until I've read it, but I'm more likely to give it a fair go in the process. And I usually expect a greater return for my efforts. If that movie had been an ounce less funny, I would have been a little incensed after such high praise. And if a classic fails to move me, I find it to be more guilty of offence than your average mediocre read.

How about you?

3. Add your link to the Linky List below.

Happy Hopping!

*PLEASE NOTE: if you do not answer the question and link back to The Blue Bookcase in a post on your blog, you will be removed from the Linky list.