Monday, June 12, 2006

Rebecca West and dragons, too

I decided upon a new reading project over the weekend. I'm going to study Rebecca West—read her novels in order (in order written or in order published, I've yet to decide), read a volume of her letters, various works of her non-fiction, as well as the Victoria Glendinning-written biography..

Since most of her works are out-of-print I'll need to rely on the university library for the material unless I happen upon something in the used book store. I do want to purchase copies of the Glendinning and West's letters since those will be slow reads; I also will need to acquire another copy of Black Lamb and Grey Falcon since R. has taken possession of the copy I bought her last year and I expect that completing that one alone will take me years. I'll probably get started on the project with library copies and then replace them with my own over time.

I won't get really geared up on my West reading until I finish the Summer Reading Challenge—17 books still to go. And I'll get back to the Summer Reading Challenge as soon as I finish Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon, a book that sounded perfect for my son that turned out better-suited for myself.


  1. Anonymous1:19 PM

    I like the idea of studying one author and seeing their development as a writer. How many novels does she have? How many books total will you be reading by/about her? And how did you choose Rebecca West?

  2. Eight works of fiction published in her lifetime with one being a collection of short novels previously published in magazines, and an unfinished novel that was based on her affair with H.G. Wells and was published posthumously. I definitely want to read all those, plus Black Lamb and Grey Falcon which I started last summer, and after that I'll just play it by ear, but I'm hoping to read at least a dozen of her works altogether. And her biography--the little I know about her life sounds fascinating.

    How did I chose her? I read The Fountain Overflows several years ago before I knew it was based on her childhood and enjoyed it. I was impressed with the couple hundred pages or so of Black Lamb that I read last year--it's just too overwhelming to read at once, though--and I loved The Return of the Soldier a couple weeks back. Since Return is her first novel, it just makes sense to continue on.

  3. I can't wait to find out what you think about "His Majesty's Dragon". I'm 5/9 at my library for the third book and I'm so excited!

    I'm going to have to purchase these, I just know it.

  4. Nope, because it was your birthday present, sweetie.

    Miss you, too. And can you call your dad in the next little bit? They'll be leaving for the gym about 7.

  5. I, too, very much like the idea of this project -- of picking one author and reading everything by him or her.


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