Thursday, September 27, 2007


Adjunct Whore tagged me for a book meme! How perfect, since I have controversially declared this A Night Off - even in the face of all I have to do - and I am halfway through a bottle of really quite good wine, and sitting around thinking about books strikes me as exactly right...

Total number of books owned: Around 500, I'd guess

Last book bought: Caroline Cox, Seduction

Currently reading: Elsa Schiaparelli, Shocking Life. And the current issue of Bitch.

Five Books that Mean a Lot to You (with a bonus 6th because ya'll are doing it):

1. A Room of One's Own. I used a passage from it during the opening remarks at my dissertation defense, which were actually VERY meaningful to me. I got choked up as I read it. I teach this text and love it, for how it can be both such a product of its moment, and somehow so transcendent of that moment.
2. Simone de Beauvoir, La femme rompue. This collection of stories was the first I read - as a teenager - that described the intimate incorporation of oppression. I can't tell you what an impact that had on me.
3. Walter Benjamin, Illumations/Reflections. Illuminations with an introduction by Hannah Arendt. Adjunct Whore has these on her list. They were crucial for me, too. It marked the beginning of a new - and the most important - phase in my intellectual life to date. And the tragedy of it, of him, I found deeply touching. Arendt's introduction kills me.
4. Jan Truss, Jasmin. This was a young adult novel that I read over and over again. It was the story of a young girl who ran away. It is an incredibly solitary story - she's out there alone in the forest. The descriptions of profound alienation were really powerful to me at that age.
5. Carolyn Burke, Becoming Modern. Her biography of Mina Loy. More than any other text, this one is responsible for where I am now. (Ha - so maybe I can blame it for my unhappiness?)
6. Jeannette Winterson, The Passion. The title says it all. I read it over and over at a point when passion really mattered.


I don't like to pressure anyone, though I would truly like to see the answers to this from all my faithful blogfriends. Tell us about your books!


adjunct whore said...

"when passion really mattered"--good grief, how depressing! it matters IT MATTERS! you are in a funk:) thanks for playing....

Hilaire said...

Oh, no, I didn't mean to make it sound as gloomy as all that! I may not be at my best, but yes, passion does matter. I think it matters - I mean romatic/sexual passion here - more at particular life stages, though. That's what I was meaning - I read The Passion in my first year of uni. I was so young, and so relatively inexperienced, that passion of that sort seemed like everything!