Thursday, May 8, 2014

10 Overlooked Novels

The Guardian posted an article about Overlooked Novels. I've never even heard of nine of them. But one, #9, is actually something I spent a lot of time on in college. 

I took a course on utopia from a literature professor with a large background in, and professional and focus on, Chinese culture. So, while studying portrayals of utopia (and dystopia, which was just as fun) we naturally combined both his interests through the 18th century epically long Chinese tale, The Dream of the Red Chamber also called The Story of the Stone.

The book is generally in five parts when translated to English, and while we were acquainted with the beginning of the story, we focused on the second book in the series, "The Crab-Flower Club."

This story inspired our final group project in the class, creating our own crab-flower club, and writing poetry, decorating pages with pastel pencilings of flowers, drinking tea, and other experiential recreations of the book and utopia, creating both our own characters and channeling those in the book. I honestly LOVED this project and the story itself, so I ended up a little hooked on the books and asked my parents for the whole series that year for Christmas or my birthday or something. 

(I didn't get them. Hello, buy a freshman a five-book series as she's embarking on a four-year English education that will cost hundreds in novels that she'll have to read each semester? Terrible trap that my parents avoided.)

But that's neither here nor there, because there's this list of ten obscure books, see, and I know and really like one of them. This is me, feeling like a smart, worldly nerd and loving it. 

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