Monday, March 31, 2008

Pushkin? What's a 'Pushkin'?...

On relationships, literary taste, an Ayn Rand infatuation, too much Virginia Woolf, and complementary perversions:

When it comes to budding relationships, how much does a potential partner's taste in books (or their lack of interest in reading, whatsoever) really matter? For many - writers and bloggers, alike - a lot, apparently. According to the NY Times' Sunday Book Review essay "It's Not You, It's Your Books" literary taste has become a handy measuring stick for potential compatibility.

Anna Fels, a Manhattan psychiatrist and the author of NECESSARY DREAMS: AMBITION IN WOMEN'S CHANGING LIVES says that inspecting a date's taste in books is "actually a pretty good way — as a sort of first pass — of getting a sense of someone. It’s a bit of a Rorschach test."

Laura Miller, the book critic for Salon confesses to dumping a guy because of his infatuation with Ayn Rand. Jessica Crispin of Bookslut wouldn't undress for a guy who says his life was changed by an inspirational book about dogs, and James Collins, the author of BEGINNER'S GREEK, has written off potential partners for reading Baudrillard (too pretentious), John Irving (too middlebrow),and Virginia Woolf (too Virginia Woolf).

So is there anything to this judgment by book? Maybe. We all surely have our own standards when it comes to picking a partner. But this bookish girl has to confess to feeling that many of those described in the essay come off as incredibly superficial and, to borrow one of Collin's words, pretentious.

The article begins with one of the author's friends justifying breaking up with a boyfriend she still loved by yelling, "Can you believe it! He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!" I hope the author did her friend justice by saying, "Okaaaay. And?" Is it really worth throwing away a partner you love because they don't know who Pushkin is? Or because they like Ayn Rand? Or because they read John Irving?

In a perfect world, we would all be partnered with those of similar literary tastes but this isn't a perfect world, and it seems silly to throw away a perfectly interesting and suitable partner because you think their literature is too high or low brow. If I were that picky about those whom I dated, I'd be preparing to be single for a very long time. I'm much more inclined to agree with this passage near the end of the essay:

Some people just prefer to compartmentalize. “As a writer, the last thing I want in my personal life is somebody who is overly focused on the whole literary world in general,” said Ariel Levy, the author of “Female Chauvinist Pigs” and a contributing writer at The New Yorker. Her partner, a green-building consultant, “doesn’t like to read,” Levy said. When she wants to talk about books, she goes to her book group. Compatibility in reading taste is a “luxury” and kind of irrelevant, Levy said. The goal, she added, is “to find somebody where your perversions match and who you can stand."


I'm not saying that literary taste doesn't matter, I'm saying on the list of things that do matter, literary taste is somewhere at the bottom. I'm much more likely give a guy the book for saying proudly and without any sense of shame, "I don't read" than I am the one who says, "Dan Brown is an excellent writer." That latter, at least, I can work with.

14 comments:

antipodeanowl said...

I think whoever got dumped by James Collins should be thanking their lucky stars that they dodged that bullet! If he's happy to judge you based on a book you just happen to read, I can only imagine what a pain in the ass he must be to be around 24/7!

相片 said...

ut男同志聊天室,成人圖片區,交友104相親網,0951成人頻道下載,男同志聊天室,成人貼圖,成人影片,tt1069同志交友網,成人視訊,aio交友愛情館,情色視訊,情色視訊,色情遊戲,交友戀愛小站,jp成人,熊貓貼圖,成人圖片,成人文章,正妹,成人小說,杜蕾斯成人,ut 聊天室,熊貓貼圖區,交友聊天找e爵,ol制服美女影片,777成人區,bt成人,女同志聊天室,貼圖片區,一葉情貼圖片區,6k聊天室,69成人,成人貼圖站,色情影片,聊天室ut,免費成人影片,成人漫畫,0204貼圖區,小高聊天室,歐美免費影片,

GarthStich said...

一葉晴貼影片區85cc免費a片試看微風辣妹論壇短片區免費卡通影片線上觀看線上aa片試看嘟嘟av104金瓶影片交流區後宮-成人影片航海王h短片分享情色視訊辣妹girl5320av短片免費看視訊交友iccav女優影片正妹百人斬blog隋棠寫真集色妹妹圖貼電話交友打炮遊戲性愛圖貼

Anonymous said...

I am the sort of hombre who enjoys to seek unprecedented stuff. Currently I'm constructing my private pv panels. I am doing it all alone without the assistance of my men. I'm utilizing the net as the only way to acheive this. I discovered a really amazing site that explains how to make photovoltaic panels and wind generators. The place explains all the steps required to solar panel construction.

I'm not exactly sure about how precise the info given there iz. If some guys over here who had experience with these works can have a look and give your feedback in the thread it would be great and I would extremely value it, cauze I truly take an interest in solar panel construction.

Tnx for reading this. You guys rock.

Anonymous said...

[B]NZBsRus.com[/B]
Lose Crawling Downloads Using NZB Files You Can Swiftly Find High Quality Movies, PC Games, Music, Applications and Download Them @ Blazing Speeds

[URL=http://www.nzbsrus.com][B]Newsgroup[/B][/URL]

夏娃 said...

老天爺賦予了強者的能力,就是要他比弱者多擔待 ..................................................

Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practise anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

寫真集 said...

天下沒有走不通的路,沒有克服不了的困難,沒有打不敗的敵人。........................................

Anonymous said...

I read this forum since 2 weeks and now i have decided to register to share with you my ideas. [url=http://inglourious-seo.com]:)[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

微笑每一天 said...

我們唯一需要恐懼的事,是恐懼本身........................................

Anonymous said...

I must show some

thanks to you just for rescuing me from this type of trouble. Just after

looking out throughout the search

engines and seeing notions which are

not powerful, I assumed my entire life was done.[url=http://www.sac-longchamp-pascher-fr.com]sac longchamp[/url] ,Existing without

the answers to

the difficulties you've

sorted out by means of your main site

is a crucial case, and the ones

that might have negatively affected my career if I hadn't noticed your blog. Your competence and

kindness in [url=http://www.sac-longchamp-pascher-fr.com]longchamp sac pas cher[/url]

taking care of [url=http://www.sac-longchamp-pascher-fr.com]sac longchamp pas cher[/url] a lot of stuff was tremendous. I'm not sure what I

would have done if I had not discovered such a solution like this. I can also at

this time look ahead to my future.

Thanks a lot very much for this

specialized and

results-oriented help. I will

not be reluctant to

suggest the blog to any individual who should get guidelines on this matter.

Anonymous said...

simply dropping by to say hi

Anonymous said...

It can also be used with people vehicles which are OBD2 amenable.

The other edition is presently useful only with the OBD Professionals type IC programmed
equipment.

my weblog - code scanner