The votes are in, and the winner of the poll for the first book to be discussed in the Big Other Book Club is Tom McCarthy’s C. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, hailed by many and knocked by maybe even more, McCarthy describes the book as dealing with technology and mourning. I’m excited to have, as our first book for discussion, a contest finalist that’s merit has been argued. All the more fuel for our discussion. I’ll start reading quite soon, and begin posting questions, comments and death threats in January.
In the mean time, here’s the rest of the schedule for 2011:
January: Tom McCarthy C
February: Mary Caponegro The Complexities of Intimacy
March: Manuel Puig Betrayed by Rita Hayworth
April: Stanley Elkin Searches and Seizures: 3 Novellas
May: Djuna Barnes Nightwood
June: Lyn Hejinian My Life
July: John Barth The Sotweed Factor
August: Gordon Lish Peru
September: John Gardner and John Maier translation of Gilgamesh
October: John Hawkes Travesty
November: Helen Vendler Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries
December: Mo Yan Big Breasts and Wide Hips
9 thoughts on “Announcing the Book Club Schedule!”
Oh, I am sooooo looking to July, which should finally get me to finish reading the Sot-Weed Factor.
I am also looking forward to crossing this one of my list in good company!
I should just point out that C was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, but didn’t win.
Not all of these are readily available in the UK (amazon is my friend), but I’ll do what I can to keep up.
Oh, dear, that’s terribly embarrassing about my error with the Booker. I had a long conversation with someone in which they repeatedly said it won. I should have done some fact-checking. Apologies! I’m going to change that now.
Also, apologies that they might not all be an easily acquired outside the states. I hope you’ll participate when you can!
Actually, they are all available in the UK; it’s just that one or two titles take a little more digging around for.
Re: Gilgamesh. Did you consider multiple translations or was this more of a John Gardner selection than a Gilgamesh selection?
Both. Adam suggested the Gardner edition, but said we’d be compelled to read every other translation after that!
Okay–Adam is likely correct about wanting to read all the other translations. Stephen Mitchell has put out a good one recently and probably the most comprehensive edition for the lay reader is that by Andrew George (and so many folks prefer Ferry’s version). But be careful…you will end up like me and buy any and all things Sumerian from The Treasures of Darkness by Jacobsen to anything by Kramer or Bottero. And honestly, you could do worse than starting with the early section devoted to Gilgamesh in Harrison’s Forests.
Gilgamesh is undeniably the “starting point” where we can begin to really feel the divide between man’s dream of MAN and the reality of the natural animal that is the human. We begin to usher in the “divisive” use of technology (writing!) that is so memorably evoked in the Tower of Babel story in Genesis (baking bricks to build to the “tops of the heavens”).
Excellent choice. It should be kindergarten reading for all of us.