Friday, 29 June 2012

Big Books: A Quick Guide






Discussing "wordles" on Jessica Maybury's Perfect Fourth blog (where she had wordled some of her own fiction), it occurred to me that one of the fascinating things about wordles (when they fascinate)  is that they create the impression that they mimic the way we store things -the past, ideas, books, films, other people, even- in our heads. Purely fanciful, but I thought it would be fun to turn a few big books into wordles - it might even save those of us who haven't read them the trouble (I usually have a book on the go but I haven't read a fair number of them). OK, so the one above is a bit on the short side compared to those below. I was going to title them but as it turned out they either more-or-less titled themselves or were more intriguing without...














13 comments:

GOAT said...

Great fun. I don't recognise all of them, but the Quixote one sent a shudder through me - I think I'd rather read the Wordle. Got a third of the way through and had to give it a rest last week.

Have you read it? It's surely lost a lot in translation, but the humour is extremely corny, the "plot" endlessly episodic and every single woman that enters the scene is more bloody spellbindingly beautiful than the last - at one point he has FOUR of them in the one scene and just about everyone else is in tears at their radiant awesomeness.

And the author equates beauty with an almost saintly wisdom and benevolence. There's constant prattle about "people of quality" (rich bastards) and after spending about 27 chapters telling us what a cad some duke is, in two pages he's redeemed by aforementioned beauty and it's conceded that he's really not such a bad chap after all.

As for that Sancho, I'd strangle the twit or lock him in a donkey stall...

Sorry, you've opened some very tender wounds with this highly controversial post, Dominic.

Dominic Rivron said...

Lol (I think that's the first time I've ever written that here). Thanks for that. It's one of the ones I haven't read. Sounds to me like you'll have to finish the thing just so you can write a post about it to entertain the rest of us.

Marion McCready said...

I love wordles! how did you wordle the books?

The Solitary Walker said...

But apart from all that, did you enjoy it, Goat? After all, the Wordle doesn't have the sex, the violence and the windmills.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I would have beeb most surprised if the Blooms had not appeared in this post!

Ruth said...

Really cool.

In my turn I shuddered at Ulysses. The black was fitting. And then I shuddered again because I have not finished War and Peace and feel guilty. I feel guilty partly because I started another book, a very long one as well, but it is so riveting I can't stop. I'd like to see you do a wordle of it: Clarissa. There would be maybe a very few words .... like Mr. Lovelace, Clarissa, letters . . . and horrible.

Thanks for following in the sunset of my blog. I'm following you now too. Stopping mine doesn't mean you can't read there (ha) and certainly doesn't mean I can't read here.

Rachel Fox said...

I did read Don Q once - years ago, I was studying Spanish. Luckily, perhaps, my memory is so lightweight that I have forgotten all of it. Indeed I've forgotten most of what i read this morning... (I'm in "The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver right now).
x

GOAT said...

Sorry, that blurt was very unchivalrous of me but I am happy I made you lol - hope it isn't habit forming, Dominic.

Actually there were parts of it I enjoyed but I wanted more description of the wilds of Spain. And another gripe: for such a big country, everyone is constantly running into everyone else they know. I will return to it after I finish Belloc's book (which I'm loving -- he's as mad in his own way as the Don!) and am ready for more beauty and chivalry.

Now, as for that whale book: that is in my opinion a classic deserving of its reputation.

Jenny Woolf said...

This post has reminded me that I intended to wordle some of my own work. Right! this time I WON'T let the thought slip by! :)

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments!

MMcC: Copy and paste text of book into wordle maker. Click... And when you've done they all take up even less space than a Kindle ;-D

SW: Sex violence and windmills? Why hasn't anyone made a computer game out of it? You almost tempt me to read the book.

WG: Indeed. And I expected Mr Earwicker to crop up too - all I can find is Mrs.

Ruth: I've added Clarissa (well, Vol 1)! I never made it past page one of War and Peace. I am a Joyce fan, though. Ulysses seems to require a few false starts, which has the unfortunate effect (for me, anyway) of making one know the opening chapters much better than the later ones. A shame that people take one look at the Wake and think its unreadable - I think it's great fun (a "funferal" as it puts it). Having read both I could imagine someone giving up on Ulysses and finishing the Wake.

RF: You got me googling The Lacuna. An intriguing idea for a story, a diary with gaps in it. Went to see Ken Loach's Angel's Share last night. Good fun.

Goat: You're right. Moby Dick is an excellent read. Hopefully I do my fair share of lolling - but not in three letters!

JW: I might just try it it myself, too.

Rachel Fenton said...

Moby and Don Q stood out for me! Love both.

Sandy's witterings said...

The wordles are certainly interesting and they seem to feature some of the classic reading challenges here. You'll have to let us know the answers eventually - I'm hoping I've not failed to recognise something I've read (which here only stands at War and Peace and two failed attempts at Don Quixote) - there are some that are a bit familiar but can't place.

Dominic Rivron said...

Sandy: The books (half of which, I must admit, I haven't read) are, in order of appearance:

To the Lighthouse, Tristram Shandy, Don Quixote, Ulysses, War and Peace, Finnegans Wake, A Tale of Two Cities, Middlemarch, Das Kapital, Robinson Crusoe, Moby Dick, Clarissa.