The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's not me, it's you[r books]

Humorous article from the NY Times on relationships and literary taste.

What do you think of this? Does it ring true?

I personally think it's a mixed bag. Aristotle said that friends (and by extension, I suppose, significant others) have all things in common, but this need not be true. I have good friends whose musical and literary tastes I do not share, but that does not make us any less friends. In fact, I strongly believe that some difference in taste is necessary, otherwise things can get quite boring if you agree on everything.

For me, the impetus behind one's artistic predilections is key. In other words, if the person is passionate about literature or music at all, then that is a good start. It would, however, be difficult to reconcile differences that are completely opposed. It may be a problem if, say, one's favourite writer is Shakespeare, while the boy/girlfriend's is Dan Brown or another hack writer. For me, what is important is that the person in question likes any substantial or intelligent literature (broadly defined), not that we have identical tastes.

In case you're wondering: No, my significant other need not love Adam Smith, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope, or their ilk; an appreciation for good writing or ideas would be nice, though.


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