Yes, this post is about shame.
Book shame. I'll admit it. There's some books I haven't read. Books I should've read. I know, I know. Slacker.
But I tell myself it's common! Everyone steals Cable, right? I mean, everyone has books missing on their Should've Read list, right? Right?
And the worst ones are the ones that really surprise you. People that know you and the kind of books you read, the kind of people who are always utterly flabbergasted when you admit, no, I haven't read X! Or Y either!
For me, the two worst are 1984 and A Brave New World. I have not read them.
I hang my head. Yes, I, who has escaped two literature degrees, who has 32 years of classics and sci-fi and fantasy... I have not read the two great dystopic novels. My name is Ink, and I am a slacker.
But this shall not last! This is Dystopia Month here on the blog! I'm gonna read 'em and blog about the experience, about the sudden release from Shame. Say three hail mary's and take a deep breath.
And the neat thing is there are actually three great dystopic novels of the 20th Century! Name the third and win a prize! (Okay, there is no prize. This blog is really a sort of mini-dystopia, the kind that gets your hopes up and then shatters them. Take that, free-thinking rebels!)
The third one, of couse, is the first of the three, Yevgeny Zamyatin's WE, written in 1921. Ursula K. Le Guin calls it "the best single work of science fiction yet written." So I'm gonna start with that one and then move on to Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World (published in 1932), and then finish with George Orwell's 1984 (published in 1949).
Should be fun, and if anyone wants to read along with me, feel free! Share in the dystopic angst!
But, before I do, a couple questions: If you've read any of these, what are your thoughts on them? And what are your own shameful omissions, the books that everyone who knows you is surprised you haven't read? Come on, confess, you know you'll feel better.