Sunday, April 4, 2010

Literary March Madness Round 1 - Part 7

Here we go on to the last of our four regions... This quartet is highlighted by perhaps the most anticipated of all of our first round matches - and by anticipated I mean that three different people have mentioned it to me - that between #5 Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis) and #12 Tony Kushner (Angels in America). There is a certain, ahem, poetic justice in this match-up; both authors are excellent satirists, concerned with the role of the individual in a certain society, and how the individual can retain his humanity in an inhuman world. I might give the edge to Kushner, though, because he's the only one of the two with an honorary degree from Bard College.

I am also very curious about the outcome of #8 Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and #9 Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five). Two novels about how humans deal with total disaster, whether it be a hurricane wiping out the Black communities of Florida or the USAF blowing the shit out of Dresden. And for all of you who're hesitating about casting your vote for Goethe, but don't know who Giuseppi di Lampedusa is, here's a quote from Wikipedia about his novel The Leopard:

The novel was criticised around the time of its first publication by some literary critics for its straightforward "old fashioned" realism, a type of Stendhalian or Tolstoyan realism that particularly irritated neo-realists such as Elio Vittorini and Alberto Moravia. However, the novel was very popular among so-called common readers, as well as with prestigious foreign intellectuals such as Louis Aragon and E. M. Forster. In 1963 Il Gattopardo was made into a film, directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Finally, three more polls have closed, and, in three blow-outs, we have three more writers advance to Round Two: #11 Terry Pratchett, #1 Leonid Tolstoy, and #9 Harper Lee. Can't wait for that Lee versus Tolstoy match!

Thank you again for voting. Please tell your friends, and, if you're new to this blog, be sure to scroll down, as there are more matches to vote on below.

Melville v. Carver

Hurston v. Vonnegut

Goethe v. Lampedusa

Kafka v. Kushner


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