This interesting, thought-provoking monthly blog hop is hosted at The Blue Bookcase . It's my second post in this regular event joining book bloggers and fond readers (the first one is HERE) . It's a good occasion to share thoughts on reading literature, to discover new blogs and bloggers and to learn something new. This month's question is...
What work/s of literature would you recommend to someone who doesn't like literature?
1. To read or not to read, Ay, there's the rub !
When someone says he/she doesn't like literature in my experience it generally means they don't like reading very much. Because if you like reading novels for instance, if you are fond of reading fiction, what you look for is ... words , beautifully written words, which all together make up a story. Stories is actually what you look for. And inside those stories emotions, feelings, thoughts, adventures, lives and people you can rely yourself to and sympathize with. How can you not love literature then?
What would I recommend to someone who says he/she doesn't like literature but actually doesn't like reading? I can't answer. First I should know them, at least a bit. Recommendations are meaningless if you don't know tastes and dispositions, likes and dislikes of the person you recommend something to.
2. Knowing the victim of your enthusiam
So one of the secrets is to try to discover what your literature-shy friend/acquaintance is actually interested in, fond of . Then you should find a literary text which can encounter their needs, dreams, likes, their hidden side. You know, I collect several "victims" a year and from a very miscellaneous crowd of potential ones.
I know them as a "species", not indiviadually. I analysed the new trends in their tastes / interests watching and listening to them carefully and , year after year, I have shaped my own very instinctive technique to win them. Well, not all of them, but some of them and that's already a great goal. What am I talking about? Simply one of the hardest tasks in my job: making my teenage students like reading literary texts.
3. Getting someone into it
Finally, if you are an "affabulatore" (in my own language, Italian), that is, a good story-teller (but you must be a very good one) you can even influence those tastes, likes and dislikes. You can even make someone who hates literary texts or science fiction or romances accepts your recommendation to start reading just those books they say they don't like. You can lead someone just ... into it. Well, that's my aspiration. That's what I'd like to be. Not in order to manipulate minds but only to give those minds the joy they refuse to experience.
|My favourite affabulatore: Alessandro Baricco, Italian author and performer|
4. Do you want to answer this question or not?
Yes, I know I have avoided doing it so far. Which literary texts would I recommend to anybody telling me he/she doesn't like reading literature? If I have to give an answer, I'll try.
Of course, I'd mention them my favourite authors and books.
1. Any one of Jane Austen's novels if it were a recommendation to a sensitive, intelligent girl who could appreciate subtle social satire, wit and irony, stories of friendship and love
2. Elizabeth Gaskell's social-issue novels (North and South, Mary Barton, Ruth) if it were someone - man or woman - commited in social questions.
3. Jack London's Martin Eden if it were someone somewhat idealistic, a contemporary utopian dreamer
4. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury if it were a recommendation to someone loving science-fiction, technology, mass media
5. Ian McEwan's Black Dogs if that someone were interested in history
These are the first 5 which comes to my mind, but I must stop. I tend to be very talkative, let's say unrestrainable, when dealing with things/people/ facts I love. And that's terribly wrong when you want to convince someone. Rule one: avoid to overwhelm them with your enthusiasm making them feel you don't appreciate their ideas or underestimate them as people because they don't share your interests.
What about you and recommendations? Do you consider it an easy task? What book would you unequivocally recommend to literature-shy friends? Why?