Crap books and good books (was Re: Best Books of 2004)

Margaret Ball margaret at
Thu Jan 20 03:22:22 EST 2005

>while I found
>_Sartor Resartus_ rather harder-going, I wondered if I was going insane
>when the section leader in the class I was discussing it in said that it
>was a given that nobody could possibly like it at all without reading lots
>of critical material explaining the whole thing.  

And I had the opposite experience with Goethe's Faust Part II. First 
encountered it in English translation, whereupon Frau Lindemann said 
that of course nobody could appreciate it without reading it in the 
original. Came up against it a couple of years later in a German 
Literature class where the teacher said that we couldn't really 
appreciate it wihout lots and lots of footnotes explaining the 
contemporary literary figures Goethe was parodying. Third time, in grad 
school, we got the complete footnotes and discussion. At which point I 
decided that it might have been a hell of a lot of fun to the 
contemporaries, but as far as I'm concerned, you just had to be there.

Margaret Ball

It's finished! The bead embroidery book is here. Lots of pretty pictures at

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