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27 September 2010 @ 09:48 am
reading meme: day six  

Day 06 – Your favourite writer

I’m afraid this meme is going to get a bit repetitive, at this rate. Guy Gavriel Kay is probably my favorite writer, though I do not unconditionally love everything he’s written. I really have to go back and re-read A SONG FOR ARBONNE, which I wasn’t particularly taken with, but I wonder if it would improve upon re-reading. And I will probably never re-read THE LIONS OF AL-RASSAN because the last chapter makes me crazy, which is a crying shame, as up to that point it’s my favorite of his books.

But–to throw a wrench in the monkeyworks–another favorite of mine is Hemingway. Like GGK (and this is the only way in which they are similar), Hemingway either works for you or does not work for you. He happens to work for me.

Oddly, because I don’t read a lot of poetry, some of my other favorites are poets: Rainer Maria Rilke and Dylan Thomas, to whom I was introduced thanks to Vincent in Beauty and the Beast; Tennyson (who is my favorite poet), to whom I was introduced thanks to Robert A. Heinlein; Walt Whitman, to whom I was introduced thanks to my freshman English course in college.

Now I’m trying to think if there are any authors whose writing I love unconditionally, and damned if I can think of any. I mean, I could be coy and say C.E. Murphy, but even that’s not true. The poets, weirdly enough, come closest. Huh.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
 
 
 
Michellemsagara on September 27th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
a) Song for Arbonne is possibly my favourite GGK book in terms of structure.

b) What was it you didn't like about Lions? I have one thing which makes me rant.
kitmizkit on September 27th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC)
a) Well, now I *must* re-read it!

b) I think the wrong guy died, and moreover, I think GGK tried to obfuscate it (I had to read the last chapter about five times before I was sure which one had died), which makes me feel like *he* thought the wrong guy died but thought readers would want the one who lived to live. Or something. Pisses me off, anyway.
Michellemsagara on September 27th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
I think the wrong guy died, and moreover, I think GGK tried to obfuscate it (I had to read the last chapter about five times before I was sure which one had died), which makes me feel like *he* thought the wrong guy died but thought readers would want the one who lived to live. Or something. Pisses me off, anyway.

Funnily enough, I knew who had died because of the reaction of the wives, the first time through. I didn't have a primary attachment to either of their lives in the sense that I wanted one to survive over the other.

And yes, agreed, it was very opaque, and of course I think that was deliberate. What annoyed me, however, was the use of the word 'good'. A good man lifted his sword. A good man died.

I have issues with the use of 'good' in this context. A man lifted his sword. A man died. That would have worked for me, and it would have underscored the main point; I couldn't see either of them as 'good'.
kitmizkit on September 27th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
Oh, I'd have never remembered that. :) I do, though, think they were both good men, or that's my recollection. Not heroes, perhaps, but not bad men, and that was the tragedy of one of them having to die. But I'd have to re-read it to really make an argument for that, and I've never been able to bring myself to. :)
Michellemsagara on September 27th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
Ah. I had some issue with the raping and burning of the nuns. Because one of the two characters, while he found it disgusting or excessive, also accepted it without a word. I understand cultural moral relativity -- but not so much that I can't a) admire him for what he was within his own cultural context and b) fail to acknowledge him as a good man. A man, yes. A man who understood his politics and the necessities of it and who could admire a man with similar ambitions and intellect. But, not so much with the good, for me.