Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm It

In a satisfying departure from my childhood, I have been tagged "it," and not left to hide in Chris Bradfield's front bushes even after the game is over. The lovely Kate has asked me to bare my book shame for your pleasure.

I'm changing the prompt a bit from the benign "books you feel you should read" to "you are a worthless fake for not having read these books." Here we go:

1. Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, Anna Karenina.

Yes, am fully aware that I have listed 3 books. But when we do shame, we do it heapin' helpin' style with flagellation aplenty. I was, dear readers, in my undergraduate years, both a Russian/East European Studies major and an English major. I have not, however, read shit. I did my thesis on the Russian postmodernists. I've read Pelevin, Sorokin, Erofeev. I have not read mothereffing Crime and Punishment and should not be spoken to seriously until this is remedied.

2. International Relations 101

That's just a placeholder for my scandalous failure to read anything longer than article length by any serious IR scholars. I could tell you a thing or two about international development and fumble my way through democracy promotion, and for the ins and outs of spurning a smitten Tajik interpreter, I'm your gal; but there are 19 year-olds who have never stepped a precocious toe outside Sheboygan, WI who could kick my ass on game theory, rational choice, democratic peace theory, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, amen. I'm hoping the going-to-grad-school plan, when that kicks in, will take care of this deficiency so I won't be such a total phony.

The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Inferno, Paradise Lost

One big fat English major degree down the toilet. Maybe Harold Bloom is right, after all?

4. The Bible

Ha ha! Just kidding. What a snooze.

5. Black Lamb and Gray Falcon

Alright, this isn't a shame, but I'm feeling pre-emptively guilty because weighing in at over 1000 pages, I don't know that I'll ever read this celebrated work on the Balkans. It's a travelogue, which I like, and a history as well, which is the only way to save a travelogue from mind-numbing self-congratulations. I'm also sort of ashamed that I only know about it because of Balkan Ghosts, like every other bandwagon Rebecca West reader.

Okay! So there we go. What now? I can't stay "it"? MMkay. I summon the joint powers of the Zunta. (You guys didn't already do this, right?)


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