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Monthly Archives: March 2013

100 Greatest Novels: Winesburg, Ohio & A Passage to India

All over the world small towns and their unique cultures have always had a strong influence on nations, citizens, and especially artists. Sometimes the attitudes of the small town citizens aren’t much different whether you’re in Ohio or India. These next two books from the 100 greatest novels are about those small towns and the people who live in them.

WinesburgWinesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

This is actually more of a collection of short portraits of characters and events than it is a novel. They all happen in the fictional small town of Winesburg, Ohio, and most stories revolve around George Willard. The full title is Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life. Anyways, George is a young man who wants to become a mature adult and has an odd talent of getting strangers to pour out their woes to him. I enjoyed reading this collection of stories because even though there wasn’t an overarching story to invest in, I was interested in how each separate story connected with the others and liked picking up on small events in the background that happened in other chapters. Quick yet enjoyable read.

200px-Bookcover_a_passage_to_indiaA Passage to India by E. M. Forster

Set during the British colonization of India, this novel follows four characters (one Indian and three English) as they attempt to bridge the racial gap between them and become friends. One thing leads to another and all the racial tension of India is focused onto this one trial between an Indian accused with rape and his “victim,” an Englishwoman. The author, Forster, has personal experience in India as an Englishman and the characters, scenes, and emotions are based on these experiences. This novel has some great descriptions of India’s landscape and its citizens. Having Muslims and Hindus in India, the country already had enough racial tension before the British showed up. Forster does an incredible job showing the exasperation of the British trying to control India, of the Indians trying to rid themselves of the British, and of the Indians trying to learn how to move into the modern era and become one unified nation of different religions. If you have any interest in India or the history of British colonization, this is a novel you should read soon.

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I am officially a quarter of the way complete with this list of novels. It’s been a lot of fun and I have been introduced to authors and stories that I wasn’t familiar with before. Onwards we go. Next I have two novels from Henry James: The Wings of the Dove and The Ambassadors.

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Dark Side of the Moon Day

One day during my junior year of high school I noticed that way more people than usual were wearing DSOTM shirts. Multiple friends and many others had the prism on a black shirt as if we called each other and planned to coordinate this coincidence. From that came the completely made up holiday: Dark Side of the Moon Day.

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As a big fan of Pink Floyd, I love this unnecessary holiday. It gives me an excuse to wear my DSOTM shirt and listen to the record on repeat all day. This is one of the few albums that I can do that to. No matter how great an album is, I usually get tired of it a few listens through. There are only two albums that I have to force myself to stop listening to: DSOTM and Abbey Road. The first track coming back around after the last track has almost become part of the album for me. And with DSOTM’s heartbeat at the beginning and end, it makes it pretty easy to just let it play over and over.

Did you know Dark Side of the Moon stayed in Billboard’s top charts for 741 weeks!! From 1973 to 1988. That’s insane. Also, being released in March of 1973, this month marks the 40th anniversary of the release. To this day, the recordings sound so fresh, new, and inventive. I don’t know when or if they will ever sound dated.

Anyways, great album. Made up holiday. Go listen to it. Wait, you don’t have it!? Go click on the above picture and buy it off iTunes. If you’re too cheap to buy it, listen to the whole thing on YouTube right now. You won’t regret it.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Music Review

 

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