Monday, May 19, 2008

Discovering Classics

When I was in graduate school I heard of a game played by grad students at parties: "Confess a classic you have not read, and if you are the only one in the group who has not read it, you get a point." That's humbling and interesting and fun. Paperback Swap (see link way down below) has enabled me to get some of these things I know I have meant to read all along but haven't yet. Yesterday I started Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. I am only a few pages in, but I am transported by the language. At first the dialect is off-putting, but Hurston makes it oh so poetic, and I am entranced. So much depth of thought in even the gossip of the idlers on the porch...

It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.

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