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Brewer Burns

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Could You All Shut Up I Can't THINK!

Today is a random, random day for me. I can't seem to concentrate on any one theme, although I have ideas for about twenty different posts. So I thought I would do something a little different. I've got a couple of questions for all of you out there:

1. What, in your opinion, is the worst book ever written and why? (This is not necessarily a book you have read.) and,

2. What is the worst book ever written that you have actually read and why?

Alright, I'll go first. Because I'm a pushy bitch like that.

1. The Malleus Maleficarum or The Witch's Hammer. Originally published in 1487, it was continuously in print for the next 200 years. Interestingly, there is an online english translation available here. The latest english addition was published in 1971, but a german translation was published in 2000. While this book (according to Wikipedia so take it with a grain of salt) was not officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church, there is no doubt that it was widely used during the time of the inquisition as a tool and a primer on "witchcraft." It's authors continually emphasized that women were weaker, more easily manipulated creatures than men. It's responsible for the widespread torture and murder of millions of people, most of them women.

2. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson, published 1748. I read an abridged version of the novel in college (about 700 pages, the original is 1500 pages.) The basic plot can be summarized thusly: Clarissa, a really good girl, gets the shaft repeatedly. First when her grandfather dies she is swindled out of her inheritance. Then she falls in love with a rather dashing (but evil) young man. Her family imprisons her to keep her from him. She escapes to be with him, and he takes her to a brothel where he rapes her and holds her prisoner. Finally, she dies. Oh, and there's some sort of incestual subplot involving her brother and sister. And did I mention that the whole novel is written in the "epistolary" form? Yes, the whole thing is written in letters. Letters from Clarissa to her friends, to Lovelace (the evil man/devil character), letters to Clarissa. Of all the books I had to read as an English Lit major this one was the worst.

So, anyone else want to chime in? Please feel free to have at it.


At 5:34 PM, Blogger Moni said...

hmmm..Interesting. I'll have to think about this.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Stefaneener said...

Ha! I was going to say Clarissa. Hated it in the unabridged version during graduate school. But I'm such a good wonky girl I read the whole tedious thing. Aaaaaghh!

It's oddly comforting to know I'm not the only one.


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