Tuesday, February 21, 2006

World literature tour

Just over a month ago, Culture Vulture kicked off a World Literature Tour. It's a great way to learn or share what you know about literature that isn't written in English. And you can have a say in where the tour stops next.

Recommendations for Finland, the first stop, have been neatly summarized. It seems there's way more to Finland than Aki Kaurismaki, Saku Koivu, vodka, and Moominland books (as if those aren't enough).

Poland was next up (yet to be summarized), and I'm proud to say I did contribute, if only because it makes me angry to think most people actually believe Czeslaw Milosz to be Poland's greatest literary export. (He's not.)

Now boarding for the Czech Republic... (Has anyone read anything other than Kundera?)


kimbofo said...

Oh yes, I've been watching this too. Great idea - perfect way to find out about foreign authors and books that would never get much publicity otherwise.

Tim said...

You know, I saw a blurb about this when it started and meant to go jump in and never did. Thanks for reminding me about it!

I've just read that one book by Kundera. You know the one I'm talking about. Though I would like to read Identity at some point (any good?).

I have read a good bit of that Kafka guy. It's been a while, but I had to read a lot of his work during college.

Nevertheless, I think my favorite Czech is Havel. There was always something about those dissident plays that I enjoyed.

Josef Skvorecky isn't bad either, though he's a bit depressing to be honest. Not that the rest are truly "happy campers" per se, but you know what I mean.

Isabella said...

Tim: Apparently Kafka's off-limits — they're looking for literature written in the Czech language.

Which puts Identity out of the running too as Kundera now writes in French (I haven't read it. The more Kundera I read — a phase in my early 20s — the more it seems like the same story over again.).

For that matter, doesn't Skvorecky now write in English? (I've read only Dvoark in Love, years ago — left me cold.)

Tim said...

Oh, you know, I think you're right. I guess that just leaves Havel. Wow, how quickly your choices evaporate when it comes to language!