Dale Salwak (eds.)'s A Passion for Books PDF

By Dale Salwak (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0230374514

ISBN-13: 9780230374515

ISBN-10: 1349403318

ISBN-13: 9781349403318

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Not like the Russian chairwoman of the first Russian Booker prize, which I had served on the previous year in Moscow. Russian readers are still quite unaccustomed to routine western-style obscenity in novels, even though contemporary Russian writers are now trying conscientiously to provide it, as a needful part of new fashion. The Russian chairwoman had said forcefully of one entry that it was the most disgusting book she had ever tried to read. I remembered now, as the next year's prize was being discussed in England, how surprised by that I and a fellow-juror on the Russian panel - an American woman - had been.

Their answers, though not unintelligent, are a bit predictable. All this reading sharpens their minds, they say; it tends to put them in touch with noble ideals; it lets them experience things that, without books, they could never experience (the eighteenth century, for example). All these answers, though a mite platitudinous, are nevertheless correct. I have the advantage over them of at least making a living off all my reading. But does all their reading come together, does it add u p to something at least philosophically if not commercially useful?

Neither of us could sing in tune, then, or now, but we belted out the words remorselessly, day after day, to what we imagined to be the tune of Clementine, just as the book prescribed: Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Harken to my joyful tidings Of the golden future time. I was amazed, and a little aggrieved, later on to be told that the book was an allegory of some sort, too complicated to be explained to me in one go. It was perfect just as it was, with no subtext.

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A Passion for Books by Dale Salwak (eds.)


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