Saturday, April 21, 2012

DISCUSSION: The Complete Works of...?

Many a time we read one or two works of an author, the ones which have become popular and everybody is talking about. Like music, people hardly listen to the entire works of ... except they are dedicated fans and incorrigible aficionados. As a reader I would like to know if there is any particular author whose works you read in its entirety or if there is any author whom you wish (or are on the course of reading) his or her entire works. I wish to read the entire works of Ayi Kwei Armah and Toni Morrison. However, since these authors have not stopped writing, one could only read as and when they write. What about you?

14 comments:

  1. Good discussion question. If there are any authors that I have read almost all their books, then it is Coetzee and Kwakye. For Kwakye, I have read all his books to date. For Coetzee, I have three more to go to complete his entire works of 20(fiction, fitionalised biography & Non-fiction). What I have realised is that there are some authors who are consistent with a particular style and voice, in that you do not get bored reading all their entire body of works. Coetzee is one notable author. When I fininsh the other three remaining books, I will blog about my journey of reading Coetzee. And then will come out with one best book from his collection although I know it would be difficult to come up with just one. The same goes for Kwakye. I guess I am not hijacking this discussion about Coetzee and Kwakye... I stop here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great. I always knew the answer you were going to give but never realised how much you've travelled into their oeuvre. Coetzee is always a challenging read. Together with Gordimer, I find them somewhat difficult and the influence of their environment is palpable in their works. For Kwakye, I'm only two books into his body of work.

      I'll be waiting on your comments on Coetzee, after you complete his works.

      Delete
  2. I think that I've read the complete works of Agatha Christie, Does that count? Also, I read every Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott book at least once....I was an aggressive and disciplined reader as a child. As an adult, I read the complete works of Jean Rhys (not hard to do, and I do it frequently), James Baldwin, Faulkner except for short stories....Oh, yes. One summer I read everything by Brett Easton Ellis. If I like an author, and if I have time, I will read whatever I can get. I started reading Aidoo books because I liked a short story from "The Girl who can." I only read three of her books before school started again, though. I can't remember if I read everything by Virginia Woolf, but definitely Richard Wright (prefer his poems and short stories, but read his novels). I had read everything by Toni Morrison as of 1992. I've kept up with her novels, but not her non-fiction. I haven't read any adult fiction since December.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is impressive. And yes Agatha Christie counts. In fact, I read one or two of her books when I was growing up. I also read another by Barbara Cartland and another by Nancy Drew. Faulkner belaboured me with Absalom, Absalom! but I prevailed in the end. I love your dedication and it encourages me.

      Regarding Ama Ata Aidoo, I've read one short story - The Girl Who can - and one novel(la) Changes. I hope to make positive progress with her works. She recently released a collection of short stories titled Diplomatic Pounds and other stories. Woolf is a stranger to me though I've heard great things about her writings. Morrison... you know my interest already.

      Delete
  3. I believe I wrote out this list somewhere - here, but down in the comments somewhere. That is the post on reading "all" of Dickens and my crazy reading of "all" of Thomas Pynchon.

    It is basically never really "all."

    It's a great goal. Either you do it, which is a valuable thing, or your interest naturally drifts away, and only years later do I remember that I once wanted to read all of Tolstoy or whomever.

    Great choices in Armah and Morrison. I certainly need to read more of both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do great Tom. I've followed your blog and your blogposts and though I read them most times I find it difficult to even comment. I love your dedication to your reading and the way you come out with several things from the read. I'm yet to read a Dickens. I quite remember I read Great Expectations. This could be true or not but it's so long ago that I might have regarded it read.

      Delete
  4. I also want to read all of Toni Morrison. My other goal is to read all of Hemingway's novels. It will probably expand to all his works, though, if I'm honest with myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More Morrison fans are here. Love it. At least I'm not alone on this journey.

      Delete
  5. None. But I am very close with Tom Robbins, Salman Rushdie and Kurt Vonnegut. I've slowed down with them because I don't want to know there's nothing they have written that I haven't read. It would depress me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your take. I thought it will make one feel excited after one has completely read one's 'favourite' author?

      I've three Rushdies I'm debating on: Fury, Satanic Verses and Midnight Children. The last two are on challenge list but a friend has talked me out of Satanic Verses, that it isn't as impressive as the latter. What do you think?

      Delete
  6. I’m not sure I have read the complete works of any author, except maybe for Witold Gombrowicz. But I would like to read everything by Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This author is new to me. I'll be looking out for him/her. I'm reading gradually through Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Possibly, another author whose body of work I'll read completely.

      Delete
  7. In your company, I wouldn't call myself a reader at all. :-)
    However, I find it difficult to pass-up on books by Ayi Kwei Armah, Chinua Achebe & Walter Mosely. These are writers I will one day be able to say for sure that I have read their complete works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This fits the theory of relativity. For in the company of others, I am nowhere near half of what they read.

      Delete

Help Improve the Blog with a Comment

Featured post

Njoroge, Kihika, & Kamiti: Epochs of African Literature, A Reader's Perspective

Source Though Achebe's Things Fall Apart   (1958) is often cited and used as the beginning of the modern African novel written in E...