Thursday, February 20, 2020

Ten top random encounters in literature

Will Harris is a writer of mixed Anglo-Indonesian heritage, born and based in London. His debut pamphlet of poems, All this is implied, published by HappenStance in 2017, was joint winner of the London Review Bookshop Pamphlet of the Year and shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award by the National Library of Scotland. Mixed-Race Superman, an essay, was published by Peninsula Press in 2018 and in an expanded edition by Melville House in the US in 2019. His first full poetry collection, RENDANG, is forthcoming from Granta in the UK in February 2020 and from Wesleyan University Press in the US later in the year.

At the Guardian, Harris tagged ten notable random encounters in literature, including:
Ulysses by James Joyce

After some 370 pages charting the “parallel courses” of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom across Dublin, they meet by chance at a maternity hospital on Holles Street. Leopold has gone to check on Mina Purefoy, who is about to give birth. Stephen and his friends are drinking. Their meeting happens in the midst of a potted history of English prose style, with their encounter rendered in the “eftsoons” style of Malory’s Morte d’Arthur – a tale that itself deals with the Grail quest among other strange encounters.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Ulysses is on Alex Clark's list of eight top books set over twenty-four hours, Tom McCarthy's lit of six favorite books about nothing, Alice-Azania Jarvis's reading list on grammar, George Vecsey's list of six favorite books, Nina MacLaughlin's top ten list of dirty old (literary) men, John Mullan's lists of the ten of the best parodies, ten of the best Hamlets in literature, ten of the best visits to the lavatory, and ten of the best vegetables in literature. It appears on Frank Delaney's top ten list of Irish novels and five best list of books about Ireland.

--Marshal Zeringue