February has been a month of book clubs. After reading a tweet about thoughts on what to name Emma Watson‘s feminist book club, #OurSharedShelf, I joined (via goodreads) and got on with reading The Colour Purple, a book I never would have picked up in a million years, mostly because I’d already watched the film. With respect to TCP, the thing I found most intriguing was the use of the letter (epistolary) as a way of moving the narrative forward, along with the familiar beginning to such letters: Dear God.
The next book club I chose to participate in requires a tad more effort as it’s in the real, as opposed to the virtual, world. Writing this comes after a five-hour round-trip, by bicycle and train, to University of Liverpool, for informal discussion on David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (@20 (years)). A nice little link between the two books, which isn’t necessarily important but it expresses one of those “a-ha” moments where I manage to find something in the text that speaks of something else, is the similarity in voice of Celie (TCP) and Clenette (IJ), which brings on a whole conversation about the rightful (or wrongful) appropriation of dialect, and which further links with a small section in Wallace’s “Authority and Usage” essay. There certainly is plenty to think about on the forty-five minute bicycle ride home from the train station, the latter part of which involves riding down a few hundred yards of pitch-black, serial-killer kind of country lane. It’s a good job I like reading.