Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Oh, So THAT'S a Meme...

Do you know what a meme is? It’s a word I’ve encountered only in blogs. The online dictionary I just checked defines it this way: A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Memes seem to have a life of their own on blogs. I saw a good one a month of so ago, for example, on Terry Teachout’s blog. The meme was this: write 10 things that you’ve done that your readers probably haven’t. I immediately came up with seven or eight of my own, including riding in a four-man bobsled with Bobby Orr, the hockey great. But I never bothered posting it.

Jon Christensen, at the Uneasy Chair, has a meme that’s going around (like a mild flu, I fear). Read it and then follow the link back here.

I’ve taken up the challenge. Here are my answers.

You’re stuck in Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?
Walden, or Life in the Woods. It’s the ultimate self-help book.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Who hasn’t? -- The Princess Estradina in The Custom of the Country. Both sisters in Howard’s End. Lily Bart in The House of Mirth. Jordan Baker, even though she cheated at golf. Catherine Barkley…

The last book you bought is:
Birds of Paradise: Travels with Cranes, by Peter Matthiessen. One of the many who makes me take a deep breath and think, “If only I could do that.”

Last books read:
Birds of Paradise: Travels with Cranes
Love and Ambition, by Ward Just.

What are you currently reading?
Beyond the Boys of Summer, by Roger Kahn, edited by Rob Miraldi. Because Miraldi is my cousin and close friend, and because I once had drinks and a long, interesting, fun talk with Kahn.

Five books you would take to a deserted island.
The Library of America volume of Thoreau that includes Walden, Cape Cod, and the Maine Woods.

The Poetry of Robert Frost

The Food of France, a great, somewhat unknown book by Waverly Root, a writer who understood the connection between the land and the food we eat.

The Sibley Bird Guide, assuming the deserted island was near North America.

Fierce Pajamas, because I’d need a laugh.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons)? And why:

No one. Memes are for blogs, and the bloggers I’d like to see answer these questions are extremely unlikely ever to read this.


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