23 June 2008

Midsummer Reading Week

Andalusia is offering itself up in solar splendour at the moment - which is a welcome relief after the misery of Manchester in the last few weeks. And Puebla Lucia was at its finest - except that we have unfortunately lost another palm tree to the weevil infection which has blighted the coast recently.

My reading highlight was Katie Roiphe's much publicized Uncommon Arrangements - a study of six 'unusual' partnerships in the literary world of the 1920s. There's not a lot of in-depth analysis, but the gossip-factor rating is commendably high.

I followed this up with the Letters of James and Alix Strachey which made a sound case for their combined importance in establishing Freudianism in the UK, both as a medical practice and an intellectual force, via their translations of his work and publication via Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press

I also slogged my way dutifully through two volumes on study skills for undergraduate and postgraduate students, then tackled a book of literary criticism on one of my old favourite authors, Vladimir Nabokov. Battling through it reminded me why nobody except geeks and academics seeking tenure would have the slightest interest in reading literary criticism in its latest manifestation.

1 comment:

skipper said...

With some exceptions I've always thought, ever since A level English, that literary criticism is dominated by people trying to suggest they are experts in a variety of fields, especially psychology, where they clearly have no expertise and succeeding only in revealing they are themselves yearning to be authors but lack the creativity.