Thursday, February 26

good bad literature & boys' weeklies

I can't keep myself from buying books and if there is a bookstore on campus, I am even more in danger of hoarding more and more of them in my tiny room. This time, they even had a 3 for 2 offer on the Penguin Books Great Ideas-edition, so I bought one book that I actually needed and two for fun.

George Orwell: Decline of the English Murder and Books vs. Cigarettes
These other two, The Decline of the English Murder and Books v. Cigarettes, are by George Orwell and they consist of essays which make a very entertaining read. I am nearly done with the first one and by now, I've learned about how to get arrested, what good bad literature is and a lot about boy's weeklies. I especially liked how thoroughly Orwell analyses these cheap stories, which are set in boys' public schools.
The essays are perfect after a long day of uni-reading - funny, not too challenging, but still intelligent. I will write about Books v. Cigarettes (which I've bought not only because of the interesting title, but also because of the appealing cover) as soon as I have read it.

Tuesday, February 24

kafka mood

I have to admit that I wasn't quite fond of Franz Kafka when we had to read Der Process in school. Luckily I decided to study German and met people at uni who were very fond of his writings and I developed a slight obsession with dear Kafka. (I have an A4 picture of him above my desk. Just saying.)
Consequently, I was very happy when I found out that we were going to study Der Process for one of my modules this term and really enjoyed reading the novel again. After I've heard about Kafka genuinely laughing during readings of his works, I really could see the comedy in the whole thing. And even though he is sometimes portrayed almost like a tragic figure, I can't help but think of him as someone who also enjoyed life and especially literature. While compiling a playlist to listen to during close reading, I found this nice, quite cheerful acoustic song by Hekla Stålstrenga, which reminds me of that:

Out of interest, me and a friend also recently watched the Trial-film adaptation by Orson Welles, which was good in terms of spacial representation and relations, and Anthony Perkins is just like I would imagine Josef K., but the end was a bit disappointing and didn't really correspond to the impression the novel makes.
It is naturally beyond question that I am going to write my summative essay in this module about Herr K. and his struggle with the law. Observed by Kafka, listening to my Josef K.-playlist. (I wonder when I will get sick of him in the next few weeks. I will tell you when it happens.)