Something I’ve been trying to do during my travels is read more. I stopped reading for fund, for the most part, in college, as I couldn’t or wouldn’t make the time. But I do enjoy reading, and I definitely have plenty of time during this trip, so I decided I would also try to tap into the culture of each country I visit through its literature. I’ll keep updating this as I go, so consider this a running list of what I’ve been reading, and I apologize in advance if you’re following me, because you might get a notification each time I edit this.
New York: I’ve been carrying “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin with me from the beginning because it is possibly my favorite book and certainly my favorite book about New York, so it serves as a sort of totem, connecting me back to my home wherever I go.
Providence: For my other home: “The Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle and “Lovecraft Country” Matt Ruff, both novels paying tribute to and engaging with the racism of H.P. Lovecraft.
Ireland: So many plays. I listed the course syllabus for my theatre course before, and I’ll copy it here at a later time, but for now, suffice to say, I read a lot of Irish plays. Also: “The Aran Islands” by J.M. Synge; “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce.
Scotland: A hefty chunk of Robert Burns poetry.
England: “Middlemarch” by George Eliot; “London Fields” by Martin Amis; “Morality Play” by Barry Unsworth.
France: “The Stranger” by Albert Camus; “Journey to the End of the Night” by Louis-Ferdinand Céline.
Belgium: I’ve already read a bunch of Tintin books years ago, that’ll have to do.
Germany: “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; “Leck Mich Faust” by Leonie Pichler and Alexander Rupflin; “The Tin Drum” by Günter Grass.
Poland: “The Tin Drum” by Günter Grass; “A Treatise on Shelling Beans” by Wiesław Myśliwski
Czechia: “The Trial” by Franz Kafka.
Italy: “Death in Venice” by Thomas Mann; “The Divine Comedy” by Dante; “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante.
Austria: “Death in Venice” by Thomas Mann;
Russia: “Red Cavalry” by Isaac Babel; “Night Watch” by Sergei Lukyanenko
Japan: “Ten Nights of Dreams” by Natsume Sōseki; “Six Four” by Hideo Yokoyama; “Woman in the Dunes” by Kōbō Abe; “Death by Water” by Kenzaburō Oe; “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi;
Travel by train: “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie
Travel by boat: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
More to come!