Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Left-brained literature

As defined by Waggish: "books that fall into the category of my having empirically observed them being read by a multitude of engineers with a literary bent." No conclusions drawn, but I think it's an interesting exercise.

The list of authors includes some of my favourites: Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, Milorad Pavic, Neal Stephenson. Also, Borges, Perec, DeLillo. (Maybe I'm an engineer at heart after all.)

Not surprisingly, there is some overlap with Alex Kasman's list of mathematical fiction, though I like the Waggish ambition to focus on "literary" fiction.

No women writers are noted. I think AS Byatt might appeal to left-brained readers, but I can't say I've ever seen an engineer reading her books.


Arethusa said...

Some day I will get around to posting my views on Byatt, whose writing doesn't come off as entirely or primarily cold to me. (But i've only (almost) read two books, so who knows).

From that list I've only read Murakami and Borges. Have been meaning to try an Eco. Stephenson, Gibson and the like are avoided because of their genre (although darth recommends them ever so often).

I don't understand his description of Borges' work as "lacking" emotion. He can't have read El Hacedor.

Martha said...

I'm really attracted to this kind of writing. I haven't read many of the authors you listed, but I love DeLillo, Neal Stephenson, Eco. And I would add Richard Powers and David Foster Wallace to the list for sure.