Saturday, September 16, 2006

unread

Inspired by languagehat, I bring you a list of (more or less) randomly selected books from my library which I bought, but still haven't read.

1.
PAVIĆ, Milorad: Hazarski rečnik - ženski primerak
This one is on the top of my "to read" list. Emík bought it for me in some antique book store in Bosnia back in ... I'm not sure when exactly since it's missing my usual ex libris. Couple of years ago, anyway. And I will get to it, I swear. Soon. I mean how can you resist a book which begins like this:

Sadašnji pisac ove knjige uverava čitaoca da neće morati da umre ako ju pročita, kao što je bio slučaj s njegovim prethodnikom, korisnikom izdanja Hazarskog rečnika iz 1691. godine kada je ova knjiga još imala svog prvog spisatelja.

2.
GOITEIN, Shlomo Dov: Mediterranean Society: An Abridgement in One Volume
In my defense I'd like to say that I have actually read volumes II and IV of the full version and even read some of the Genizah documents referred to. Unfortunately, this abridgement omits all the references to T-S documents and is thus 'merely' a great historical work. I'm pretty sure I will pick it up some time before my final exam, though.

3.
Beowulf: A Student Edition (ed. by George JACK)
I spotted this one in an OUP catalogue back in 1997 (together with "How to Kill a Dragon") and I just had to have it. Nine years and several changes of address later, I'm still stuck at monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah.

4.
FRIGGIERI, Olivier: Fi parlament ma jikbrux fjuri
I bought this one in October 2003 in Malta (my last real holiday, fyi). The back jacket informed me that in 1986, when the book was first published, it sparked a huge political controversy. There is no better way to get to know a culture than through its political scandals. Besides, you know how much I like gossip :o)

5.
GINZBURG, Carlo: The Night Battles
I got this one for Christmas a few years ago. The subject (witchcraft, shamanism and white magic in medieval Italy) is fascinating and despite my initial impression, the book is written in an impecable scientific manner. Somehow I just haven't found the time yet...

6.
LEWIS, Bernard: What Went Wrong
This is one of those I had to buy ex officio. I tried reading it once, but all it did was to raise my blood pressure. Perhaps after I finish my PhD thesis. If I ever do.

7.
DUMÉZIL, Georges: Mythes et dieux des Indoeuropéens
Not so much 'unread' as in a permanent state of reading limbo for the last 4 years. I only finished the chapter on the 'Rehabilitation of Snorri' and it was so good I could not process more.

8. Jazyk, média, politika
This is a collection of essays on the usage of the Czech and Slovak languages in media and politics. I've been thinking about writing something on the subject myself, so I may read it before long.

9.
PINKER, Steven: Words and Rules
I'm still not sure whether this is a 'I haven't read these' list or a 'I haven't read these, but I plan on reading them' list. If it ends up as the latter, this book doesn't belong here. I mean, come on - "Words and Rules"? Doesn't that just sum up everything that is wrong about T/GG, Chomskyanism, the Minimalist program or whatever those washpots call their religion these days? Tell you what - if I survive reading Lewis, I'll get to this one.

10.
LIPTÁK, Ľubomír: Slovensko v 20. storočí
This is one of those books every Slovak intellectual (feh!) should have on their nightstand. To lend it to a friend who is studying for her Slovak history exam is also a good reason for buying it.

7 comments:

John Cowan said...

No, Words and Rules is much better than that. And it's by no means pure Chomskyism.

Michael Farris said...

"FRIGGIERI, Olivier: Fi parlament ma jikbrux fjuri"

You can read Maltese? I got to the point where I could read online newspaper articles with a dictionary (and a fair amount of time) if they had the right maltese letters and weren't just in ASCII

bulbul said...

michael,

sure I can. I read Italian and I'm an arabist. Once I got over certain structures (ta' + posessive pronouns, ghidt instead of *qult...) it wasn't that much of a problem. I still keep my dictionary handy when reading prose or poetry, though.

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