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20 May 2009 @ 05:55 am
Imaginary and Unwritten Books  
All of us probably spend a good amount of time reading and talking about the books we read. But today, let's talk about the books we haven't read. Not the books that haven't come out yet, or that are waiting patiently (or impatiently) in our to-read piles, but the books that don't actually exist.

First, there are the books that exist within other books. For example, I've always wished I could get a look at the book of spells Lucy reads in C. S. Lewis's VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. I'm sure I would find the beauty charm just as enticing as Lucy does, but what I would really like to read is the spell "for the refreshment of the spirit" that is more like a story, but which even Lucy herself can't remember after reading it. It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, she says, and it becomes the story that defines for her what a good story is in all her years to come. Who wouldn't want to read that story for themselves?

Then there are the sequels or prequels that may never get written. For example, I would dearly love to read a fourth book in Meredith Ann Pierce's DARKANGEL trilogy, if one were written. I loved the series but I still can't get over how the third book ends, and can't help but wish for a fourth book. I'd also really enjoy a Harry Potter prequel covering the school years of Harry's parents and their friends and enemies.

What about the rest of you? What unwritten or imaginary books would you like to read, and why?

Deva Fagan
deva_fagan
www.devafagan.com
Fortune's Folly, Holt, April 2009
 
 
 
katie!frock on May 20th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC)
I was thinking just today how much I'd like to read The Moral of the Rose, the book Emily writes in Emily's Quest by L. M. Montgomery. Or Emily's first, and later burned book, The Seller of Dreams! I will never forgive Dean Priest!
Deva: Annedeva_fagan on May 20th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
Oh yes! The Seller of Dreams particularly. I will never forgive Dean either! I was so devastated when I read that bit. I think it's probably a good part of the reason I prefer the Anne books!
katie!frock on May 20th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
Anne's sketch-on-wrapping paper, and Avril's Atonement, too! Both the original and leavened versions...
amarisglassstirlingbennett on May 20th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Oh my word, how I've mourned her lost Seller of Dreams! I spend much of Emily's Quest just angry.

And the little plotless conversation between the flowers of the garden has always intrigued me also. This is one of those times I declare that everything missing on earth will be restored in Heaven––including imaginary stories!
Deva: Annedeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
Oh, I had forgotten the sketch on wrapping paper. Written while she was stuck in the roof, right? Yes, that always sounded so lovely.

And leavened. Hee!
Rose Greenolmue on May 20th, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
Hogwarts, a History, of course!
Catherine Haines: Hogwarts // Fiction Reveals Truthscatherinehaines on May 20th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
That would be my pick, too. :D
Devadeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
Oh, good one! I would actually enjoy reading a bit of some of the Gilderoy Lockhart books, just to see how bad they really are, heh.
Rose Greenolmue on May 21st, 2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
LOL, those would be funny!
(Anonymous) on May 20th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Imaginary books... I'd like to read the real INKHEART (that's what the book inside the book was called, too, right?), the one Mo read characters out of (and into). :)
Writer's Blogmegancrewe on May 20th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Imaginary books... I'd like to read the real INKHEART (that's what the book inside the book was called, too, right?), the one Mo read characters out of (and into). :)
Devadeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
Yes, Inkheart would be very cool. Reading the original story of Dustfingers and the rest of them.
moonratty on May 20th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
still sticking with the lost book of Aristotle's poetics, over which the entire medieval library in Umberto Eco's really awesome NAME OF THE ROSE is brought down.

also, in SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS, the narrator *packs* her story with imaginary citations. also in Manuel Puig's KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN--although i think those are imaginary movies, not books. still, it's awesome.

currently reading Michael Chabon's WONDER BOYS, which is also the title of the protagonist's unwritten novel, and the whole story is peopled with imaginary writers and their famous imaginary books. terribly clever for would-be writers to read, i think.
Devadeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
I had forgotten about that Aristotle book in NAME OF THE ROSE. That would indeed be an interesting read!

I haven't read the others mentioned but am now intrigued. Thanks for commenting!
handyhunter: chuck readinghandyhunter on May 20th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'd like to read a sequel to Robin McKinley's Sunshine, or even just another book set in the same universe, perhaps based on Mel or Yolande.

The Princess Bride sequel, maybe.

I've always wondered what story Belle was singing about in Disney's B&B: "Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise."
(Anonymous) on May 20th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
belle in b&b
i always thought she was singing about aladdin, but that's just me.
handyhunterhandyhunter on May 20th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: belle in b&b
Oh, that makes sense! I figured it would be something self-referential, but I couldn't think of a Disney movie with "a prince in disguise".
Devadeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
Something else set in the SUNSHINE universe would indeed be something I'd pick up.

I could definitely see a sequel to THE PRINCESS BRIDE working, especially if it explored the whole "what happens after happily-ever-after" question of fairy tale romances.
(Deleted comment)
ext_124643 on May 20th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
I think a Harry Potter prequel of Harry's parents generation would be too close to the HP series. Instead. I'd love to read about Slytherin, Gryffindor, et al and the founding of the school.
S A R A H: hp - harry02theagonyofblank on May 20th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
Instead. I'd love to read about Slytherin, Gryffindor, et al and the founding of the school.

Yes, I think that would be wonderful!
let's get the seven lines.bookshop on May 20th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)

I've always wanted to read the (unedited) book that "S. Morgenstern" supposedly wrote - the one full of all the boring parts William Goldman had to selectively edit out of The Princess Bride! One of the most charming ways of presenting a novel-within-a-novel ever. I like to imagine that it is full of long rambling tangents like the sewer essays in Les Miserables. How delightful. :D
Devadeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Hee! I am not sure I'd actually want to read it, but it would be very interesting to see just how boring the boring bits are.
charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com on May 21st, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
I'd like to read any of the books that make up If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, by Italo Calvino, the teasingest collection of imaginary books ever.

I'd also like to have a peek at The Book of Three...
Devadeva_fagan on May 21st, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
I'd also like to have a peek at The Book of Three...

As long as I don't burn my fingers on the cover!
rllafeversrllafevers on May 22nd, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
What a fun topic!

One book I would love to read would be Creatures by Nagy, the book in Lirael by Garth Nix that the title character uses to create The Disreputable Dog.
Devadeva_fagan on May 22nd, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
Ooh, good one!

That makes me think that the question "what magical animal companion would you choose" might make a fun discussion topic. I loved the Disreputable Dog! She would definitely be in the running for my choice.
Audry Taylortalshannon on May 24th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
I'm posting this so late in the game, we'll see if anyone reads it!

What about a dark, gothic Jane Austen novel (and I don't mean zombies)?

The Private Diary of Darcy

The Necronomicon

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Sex But Have Been Forced To Find Out by Oolon Colluphid

Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen by Sherlock Holmes

Devadeva_fagan on May 29th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
I read it! Thanks for posting!

The private diary of Darcy would indeed be intriguing. I think reading the Oolon Colluphid book would scar me for life, heh, but maybe some of his God books would be interesting. And of course I'd love a look at the actual Hitchiker's Guide.

I'm just now in the middle of The Beekeeper's Apprentice, myself!