A reader recently left a comment on an older entry here, asking what’s happened to the “CCLaP 100” series of all-classics essays that have been getting published here this year; and the sad truth is that I’ve been stuck on the latest, Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, for an incredible six freaking weeks now, and am still not even halfway through the damn thing. So okay, enough! I give up! Time to move on from Kim for now, and to get back into the CCLaP 100’s regular publishing schedule again (i.e. a new title every Friday, come rain or come shine).
And regular readers will of course remember that the only other CCLaP 100 book I’ve so far had to give up on was another title set in India, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children; so why am I having so many particular problems this year with novels set in India? …Er, well, probably because I actually know nothing about India, and have so far found any stories about its history and culture to be extremely complicated and difficult to follow. Ah, but you know what that means, simply another excuse to go do some nerdy specialized studying, which I always love having the excuse to go do; this fall, to be specific, I plan on finally sitting down and giving myself a fairly decent education on the history of southeast Asia and India specifically, or at least to the extent that I can actually follow such authors as Kipling and Rushdie. And then I’ll tackle those damn books again, and finally get through them, and finally get essays up here on whether or not they should be considered classics! Whew!
Anyway, since I’ve been on a science-fiction kick here at CCLaP this month anyway, I thought I’d go ahead and swap the order as well of the next two CCLaP 100 books to be read; that makes the next classic-under-review 1969’s trippy Hugo- and Nebula-winning The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin, not only one of the first major SF novels to be written by a woman, but also a seminal work for how the genre changed during the countercultural ’60s and ’70s. That essay will be coming next Friday, one week from now; then in two weeks will be George Bernard Shaw’s Candida, in three Fridays Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, and in four Fridays Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. As always, I hope you’ll get a chance to come by and see what I have to say about them all.