By Molly W
With the arrival of a new librarian- Ms Lavergne- our library is going through major changes. For too long the library has been a room without energy… Now Ms Lavergne is beginning her plan to revitalise the way we interact with literature. The library is already an excellent resource, with both fiction and nonfiction. Each subject has a designated shelf or shelves, with a range of introductory and niche information. The language sections are particularly useful, with grammar texts alongside important literary works both in the original language and in translation. Since being moved to the Shaftesbury building, the library has suffered by not having thoroughfare. Often, people only end up in the library when they need somewhere quiet, or when they need a very specific book. Ms Lavergne answers my questions as the start of her revamping of our library:
If you could get an author to write a sequel to their book, which book would it be, and what would you like the sequel to be about?
I always wished that Shakespeare didn't kill Lady Macbeth, so he could have written a 'sequel' play about her.
What's one book that you'd like to see turned into a film?
The Secret History - Donna Tartt. It basically a Greek tragedy transposed to our era and played out by university students, majoring in Greek. It manages to be a thriller, a coming of age, as well as a pretty smart story, with a good deal of ancient quotes and references to literature.
What is your favourite novel genre?
Normal, realistic novels. Ones that feel real, not melodramatic.
Poetry or prose?
What is your favourite text written before the 20th century?
Arthur Rimbaud’s poems.
If you were stranded on a desert island would you rather have the entire works of Shakespeare or Dickens?
Dickens because I wouldn’t be able to get through Shakespeare with the sun on my face…
If you could get Donald Trump to read any book or poem which would it be?
The Handmaid’s Tale. Obviously.
If you could have a drink with any author or poet, who would it be?
Oscar Wilde! I'm sure he would have a good deal of 'pub stories' to share.
What is your favourite novel?
The Vagabond - Colette. This author is often under rated abroad, though she is one of the most successful French writers of the 20th century! Her novels are short, her style subtle and delicate. She is my personal 'must read'.
If there was one book you could make everyone in the country read, which book would it be and why?
The Buddha Of Suburbia - Hanif Kureishi. The book tackles pretty much any issue which still exists in the UK today - such as economic deprivation or minority integration - as well as paying tribute to London's 70's music scene. It is also extremely fun!
Have you ever read a book which was a classic or meant to be very good, which you ended up not enjoying?
In Search of Lost Time
Is there a book character who you think you're most like?
Oliver Tate, in Joe Dunthorne's Submarine!
What's one book you read which inspired you to pursue a career involving literature?
Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Do you think the printed novel will still be around in the future?
I’d be really sad if it’s not…
What do you want the library to be like in -say- a year from today?
I want it to become a space where people look for enlightenment… Hopefully I don’t sound like Satre?! You need to look for your own passion in knowledge, especially at your age. You form your taste now, so the more access to resources you have the better it will be.