Penguin Books: Book-a-Day Challenge #1

I’m taking part in Penguin UK’s Book-a-Day Challenge, as advertised on their Instagram account (@penguinukbooks). I have decided to post photos on my Instagram (@kategoodrum) and short text posts here on my blog.

Day 1: Iconic first line

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

– George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Annotated Edition

I selected this “iconic” opening line as I believe it successfully establishes the dystopian element of the novel straightaway. The word ‘thirteen’ immediately defamiliarises the easily recognisable setting of London, since digital clocks were not patented at the time of the novel’s publication (1949).

Day 2: Last read

The books which I last read (or re-read) were:

Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Psychogeography (Pocket Essentials)

Continuing my recent exploration of “Theatre of the Absurd” and existentialism, I have re-read the plays Waiting for Godot and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I have also read Merlin Coverley’s Psychogeography, which summarises key literary movements and writers who have influenced the discipline. My interest in the representation of the natural world in literature first began when I was captivated by Edward Thomas’s poetry, and reading about psychogeography has enabled me to appreciate the way in which literary descriptions of landscapes can become entwined in the popular psyche (for example, we so often think of London during the Industrial Revolution in terms of Charles Dickens’ novels).

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