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Offline blu333y3s

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Challenging reads
« on: October 27, 2012, 10:56:21 pm »
I have started reading Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar, described as a stream of consciousness novel and honestly the most challenging piece of writing I have read.

Has anyone else read the novel? What are your thoughts? Did you also find the narrative challenging to keep focused on?

For anyone that has attempted it, the chapters are not linear, but can be read that way -  there are several options regarding how you approach the book, I elected to follow the first 56 chapters as written, and then the numerical suggestion of the choose your own adventure type construct that Cortazar has designed.

If anyone else has read the novel did you take a similar approach or different, how do you think it might have changed your experience? 

I was reflecting on other things I read that I found challenging and can think of The Trial by Kafka in a similar vein.

Anyone else? or is it just me out of my depth?

Offline bluetrain

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Re: Challenging reads
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 01:52:15 pm »
Hey blu333y3s, I have never read Hopscotch but it does seem challenging. When I think of "challenging reads" there is an author that pops up instantly to my head - ol' James Joyce. I have tried to read Ulysses in English many times, just to end up frustrated with being totally lost. Never to mention Finnegans Wake, the apotheosis of wacky/genius literature in the world.

There are also books still challenging but more accessible, such as A Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez. Reading the Divine Comedy and the Iliad in their original verse forms (even if translated into verse unto English or other language) is also VERY challenging. I had to stop the Purgatorio midway!
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Offline pbtoejam05

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Re: Challenging reads
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 06:57:49 pm »
I've never read Hopscotch.  I've tried to get through an excerpt of James Joyce but stopped halfway through.  Similarly, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner use stream of consciousness writing, which I find annoying.

The most challenging book I've read is A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, just because you have to translate the made up slang as you read.

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko is not told in a linear style.  Interesting novel.