Here are some of the books and authors I intend to read this year. I’m a capricious and moody fellow, though, so this could change abruptly and completely. This summer, I might develop a craving for surrealism or vintage science fiction. In the fall, it might be Victorian poetry and novels.
Even if the list doesn’t change, I won’t get to them all. I’m not fifteen, and no longer have three months a year to spend at the library. (And I did not sufficiently appreciate that luxury when it was mine.)
My reading plan for 2007:
William Blake – Possibly my favorite poet, and a spiritual and artistic mentor. Because of the primacy he gives to imagination, I want to reread him after I read Vico (below). Specific works: Milton, Jerusalem, miscellaneous lyrics.
William Carlos Williams – The south pole to Wallace Stevens’s north. He always inspires my own creativity.
W.B. Yeats – An old friend I haven’t visited in a while, but several of his poems have been coming to mind lately.
Stanislaw Lem – I read his satiric fiction when I was a teenager, but I suspect it was too sophisticated for me then. It probably still is.
Kurt Vonnegut – Yes, it’s a cliche to put a recently deceased author on the list. But I just reread Cat’s Cradle, and it reminded me what a loss we’ve suffered. On the list for this year: Mother Night, Slaughterhouse Five and Slapstick.
Giambattista Vico – A philosopher who influenced James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, among others. I know him only by repute, but I suspect Blake would find his philosophy congenial.
Francesco Petrarch – Poet, epistolarian and humanist. He did for the sonnet what Basho did for haiku. I plan to read both his poetry and his letters.
Thomas Paine – A still under-appreciated man, the true father of our country. If he were alive today, he’d be imprisoned under the Patriot Act. We need him now more than ever.
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