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18 Maj 2005 @ 15:56
The book baton is passed  

This questionnaire about books was handed to me by w1ldc47. Being an obedient sort, I will now fill it out. Or in.

Total number of books I own:
I am disinclined to count them, because they are currently in two different countries, and there are rather a lot of them.
The last book I bought:
Pride and Prejudice, because I wanted to re-read it after having seen the film Bride & Prejudice (which is a lot of fun, and, in its own way, quite faithful to the original). Current status: on loan to w1ldc47's mother.
The last book I read:
Also P & P, I think, if you mean 'read cover-to-cover'. If you mean 'read at least part of, with or without the intention of reading the whole thing', then various books scavenged from collections cast off by retir{ing, ed} professors, including Sexual Variance in Society and History (V. L. Bullough) and Semiotics of Art: Prague School Contributions (L. Matejka and I. R. Titunik, eds.).
Five books that mean a lot to me:
(Order irrelevant.)
  1. The Chicago Manual of Style — a continual source of sage counsel, reassurance, and occasional amusement.
  2. The Mahābhārata, as translated by J. A. B. van Buitenen — this is what I read when all the other geeks my age were reading The Lord of the Rings, I suppose. It has many of the same attractions (heroes, monsters, magic, massive battles, and so on), but it also has something else, which I'm not sure I can define, that I never found in Tolkien. At any rate, every geek needs an epic, and this is mine. A great deal of credit must be given to van Buitenen, who put the English lexicon into overdrive in order to render the meaning of the Sanskrit text as vividly and precisely as possible. I'm really in no position to judge, because I can't read the original, but many other translations I've seen looked dim and blurry by comparison.
  3. Et Dukkehjem, by Henrik Ibsen, translated into English as A Doll House (note the absence of the possessive) by C. C. Hall — my introduction to feminism, and to the theatre (I supplied sound effects—voices of Ivar and Bob—for a production that took place when I was 11 months old). Also the beginning of what later developed into something of an obsession with Ibsen; as an undergraduate, when I gained the ability to check books out of a major research library, I read all of his plays, mostly during computer science lectures.
  4. Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers — a wholly satisfying (and very economical) mystery, and, at the same time, the climactic chapter of a wholly satisfying love story. Clever, carefully crafted, devastatingly witty, but built around a core of emotional seriousness.
  5. An Introduction to Language, by Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman — my first linguistics textbook, and the one I would choose if I were teaching an introductory linguistics course. It does an excellent job of introducing students to the joy of figuring things out about language, and not just because of all the cartoons.
Five other people who I want to do this:
Look, this is a blog; I don't give homework assignments here. If you're reading this, chances are I'd be interested to read your responses to these prompts, but only if you feel like writing them.
 
 
Nuværende humør: geekybookish
 
 
 
"That Anne Girl": Pussyfootabenn on 18. Maj, 2005 14:10 (UTC)
I'll have to go read The Mahābhārata now. Thank you.
w1ldc47w1ldc47 on 18. Maj, 2005 17:13 (UTC)
me too. I don't suppose it's in the right country, is it?
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 18. Maj, 2005 18:38 (UTC)

I own only parts of it—books 4 and 5, and of course the Gītā. But you're welcome to borrow those if you like. (Book 4 is where the names of all my computers come from.)