Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Bourgeois living

I tried to organize a book club once. We read 1984. A handful of people showed up. Most of us had read most of the book, or remembered it clearly enough from when we'd read it a decade beforehand, or had rewatched the movie recently. We drank a lot. We even discussed the book a little. I considered it a success.

The social phenomenon of the book club is considered in The Guardian. "What is clear is that the book club is now a near-ubiquitous feature of bourgeois life."

The discourse at reading groups does not often have much in common with the language of scholarship. Prof Currie and a fellow English literature don were once barred from a book club lest they ruin the fun with talk of structuralism and the like.

For others, that expulsion might represent a happy revolution. According to Professor John Sutherland, of London University: "People are reclaiming the right to read from pointy-headed academics".

The primary reason I'm not cut out for book clubs is that I want to read what I want to read. On my terms, on my schedule. At whatever level of depth I deem appropriate at the time. So this blog is my book club (and this discussion probably counts). I can drink however much I want. And I consider it a success.
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