Monday 30 March 2009

Books: 20th Century Post-Modern Fiction

I know you're going to find this extremely hard to believe but when I was at university, I was bloody naughty. My weekends started at 11am on Wednesdays and only ended approximately 48 hours before the next one started again. I will never really know what possessed me to take a course in "20th Century Post-Modern Fiction" because up to that point, the only book I had read and finished for academic purposes had been Elidor which I read when I was 12. It was one thing passing psychology and sociology because of my amazing ability to retain what I heard in class but this course actually required that we read the set books and that was beyond my remit at that time.

There were six books set for the course, three to be studied each 6 week term. The books were Perfume by Patrick Suskind; Gilles et Jeanne by Michel Tournier; If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino; The Trial by Franz Kafka; Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre and The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

I am extremely proud to announce that I finished one of those books by the end of the semester and I handed in a brilliant essay on it too.  That was Perfume and in fact, it is one of my favourite books ever.  I wrote a review of the film here.

In later years, I read Gilles et Jeanne too but that is only because it was about 50 pages long or something.  So, the purpose of this post is that I am atoning for my sins and I intend to read the remaining books.  I finished The Trial by Franz Kafka some weeks ago and I will review that next week.  I also started Nausea on Friday morning and hope to finish it while on holiday.  Wish me luck!  These books are not easy reading!!



  1. I hope you enjoy Eco and The Name of the Rose as much as I did. The other books are terrific too. Good for you--that you are getting around to these classics.

  2. @ Doug: Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I guess it remains to be seen whether I ever actually finish these books. They are not easy to read!! I found Eco to be espercially complex too but yes, I will try.

  3. I found "In the name of the rose" to cumbersome to be honest. Good luck with it, perhaps it is one where a reader has more patience then I do.

  4. Ha! I am on the verge of shelving "Nausea" so I am not sure if I will make it!! I picked up 5 fantasy and/or young adult books at the library on Saturday and they are calling to me!!


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