Wednesday, August 09, 2006

When Bookmemes Attack!

Tagged by Bill Luse, I respond:

1. One book that changed your life: Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book. The change was not entirely for the better.

2. One book that you've read more than once: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I was eleven, so I had time to spare.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The flying book from that eighties' Gummi Bears cartoon.

4. One book that made you laugh: Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy O'Toole

5. One book that made you cry: Aeneid Book II, the sack of Troy. Too lazy to translate, so here's Dryden:

The Trojan Horse enters the city:

All vote t' admit the steed, that vows be paid
And incense offer'd to th' offended maid.
A spacious breach is made; the town lies bare;
Some hoisting-levers, some the wheels prepare
And fasten to the horse's feet; the rest
With cables haul along th' unwieldly beast.
Each on his fellow for assistance calls;
At length the fatal fabric mounts the walls,
Big with destruction. Boys with chaplets crown'd,
And choirs of virgins, sing and dance around.
Thus rais'd aloft, and then descending down,
It enters o'er our heads, and threats the town.
O sacred city, built by hands divine!
O valiant heroes of the Trojan line!
Four times he struck: as oft the clashing sound
Of arms was heard, and inward groans rebound.
Yet, mad with zeal, and blinded with our fate,
We haul along the horse in solemn state;
Then place the dire portent within the tow'r.
Cassandra cried, and curs'd th' unhappy hour;
Foretold our fate; but, by the god's decree,
All heard, and none believ'd the prophecy.
With branches we the fanes adorn, and waste,
In jollity, the day ordain'd to be the last.
Meantime the rapid heav'ns roll'd down the light,
And on the shaded ocean rush'd the night;

The death of Priam's son before his father's eyes:

Behold! Polites, one of Priam's sons,
Pursued by Pyrrhus, there for safety runs.
Thro' swords and foes, amaz'd and hurt, he flies
Thro' empty courts and open galleries.
Him Pyrrhus, urging with his lance, pursues,
And often reaches, and his thrusts renews.
The youth, transfix'd, with lamentable cries,
Expires before his wretched parent's eyes:
Whom gasping at his feet when Priam saw,
The fear of death gave place to nature's law;
And, shaking more with anger than with age,
'The gods,' said he, 'requite thy brutal rage!
As sure they will, barbarian, sure they must,
If there be gods in heav'n, and gods be just-
Who tak'st in wrongs an insolent delight;
With a son's death t' infect a father's sight.

6. One book that you wish had been written: Savonarola's _Bonfires of the Vanities: A Leaders' Guide_

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract

8. One book you're currently reading: Just ended a six-book marathon, so my stack is empty. Finished off PD James' The Children of Men, I will have a blurb forthcoming.

9. One book you've been meaning to read: Being as Communion by John Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon. Been stuck on the first chapter for too long.

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