Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reading A to Z: J is for James

I feel like a literary slacker. I have never read the two big James. I am referring to James Joyce and Henry James. I own books by both of them. They are on my bookshelf in my library on the "classic authors" shelf, but have been collecting dust over the past years. It isn't from a lack of wanting to read them. I do. I just haven't gotten around to it, because something else always catches my eye. I also fear being completely underwhelmed when I finally get around to it.

Henry James was born in New York and was friends with the likes of Edith Wharton and Henry David Thoreau, both of whom I have read. His books at the top of my list are A Portrait of a Lady and The Turn of the Screw. Those are two of his most famous.

James Joyce, on the other hand, was born in Ireland. It seems to be a rite of passage to make your way through Ulysses, which is currently on my bookshelf. I have heard it can be dry and tedious, but all must read it. I have heard good things about his short story collection, The Dubliners. And of course, everyone knows his classic Finnegan's Wake. 

Some how, some way, I will get around to reading some of these classics. And then perhaps I will feel more fulfilled.

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