Wednesday, August 4, 2010

All Hail Saint Cleese

I thought today's post would end up being more gratuitous YA bashing. Then I looked at my bookshelves and thought about what I'd been reading lately. There is a good sprinkling of YA or younger protagonists and I'm not complaining about the stack of reading beside Varda's Window of the Suspicous Neighbors (at least she isn't barking at the more familiar people outside).

For the most part, these are books that I think I'll enjoy (except for the lurking Ivanhoe, which I may finish but will never appreciate). My challenge is that my tastes crystallized in the early 80's, too early for Manga, and in an Anglophile household in which British mystery fiction was considered superior readng material. There is a certain cast of snark, a certain literary tic, a certain cast of characters who are part of my literary pantheon.

While there are little altars to Sayers and small engravings of Christie beneath the stained glass windows bearing the image of John Cleese and Tom Baker in this pantheon's temple, there are no chapbooks featuring Jane Austen. There is a giant hanging tapestry of Neil Gaiman.

What I struggle with is that given these interests and influences (aside from taking myself too seriously) is that they give me an anarchistic take on the idea of rules for texts. Or I'm making this up because today my brain isn't capable of cogent argument given the fact that finishing the novel draft left me in the bottom of a well, hungover from the emotional bender of a painful last chapter. Today, I need a literary chapel and a quiet place to rest.

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