Saturday, 23 August 2014

How Many Literary References Do You Hear In A Day? Ever Notice?

I know we book bloggers are always talking about books during the day but quite often when I am out and about I hear references to books read or authors from all walks of life and from many sources.

Last night was the start of the two day Literary Fest held in Hobart each August. It is held at the Playhouse Theatre, an old theatre in Hobart that features mainly amateur plays and actors.  The literary fest is a short film festival though short plays are performed.  They produce six short plays varying in length from 5 minutes to 30 minutes in three separate sessions. Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening.  After each session an experienced theatre adjudicator talks about the plays and at the end of the Saturday night session all actors and audience members are invited to a supper, drinks and awards.
Franz Kafka

I went last night and sat by myself because I can never get people to go with me to these things.  Mainly because I decide to go to them at the last minute.  I did meet people in the audience I knew and we all shared some conversations about the experience.

As the night went on the young people, mainly students from college and university presented plays they wrote, produced and acted in.  I was surprised at the reference to books and literature just in passing of everyday tasks.  Literary terms that are in our vocabulary that we may use when talking to friends or doing mundane jobs such as washing the dishes in a group of people at a party.  I began to pay attention and in an hour I heard four references to stories or authors.

Kafkaesque, Quixotic and Zombie books were mentioned. Then up popped a reference to Mary Shelly and Frankenstein. 
I thought "What a diversity and how would the conversations have changed if people had not read these books by Kafka, Cerventes and Shelly."  Not to mention all of the books and films about zombies.

I know all of us hear literary references in daily living but do we ever pay attention to it to see just how prevalent it is?   I think I'll listen more often and let you know what conversational literary references I may come across as I shop for groceries, meet friends for coffee or just hang out in the city doing errands.  How many are there?  Would love to know what you hear whether it be classic or popular. What books and references do people work into their conversations without actually talking about the contents of the book?

I often attend events or go to cafes on my own and it is great fun to listen in on conversations.  Last night I overheard three young men discussing how they eat a chocolate crunchie bar. One man said he chews all the chocolate off the whole things then eats the middle crunchie part. It really is quite interesting what you learn when sitting quietly listening to people talking around you.
The things I hear from thetheatre audience.

1 comment:

  1. I think you hear them a lot more in live theatre. Playwrights can correctly assume the audience if failry well read. I wonder how often you will hear them in real life. I bet not often but regularly.


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