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Humiliation made Simple

When jennybeast and I were undergrads together, we spent a summer in Oxford, at Trinity College, going to UMass-organized summer school. The program coordinators were graduate students in English, and one day, when we were driving somewhere in a van - Stratford, maybe - the grad students taught us to play a game called Humiliation.

It's a simple game: each person admits to NOT having read a particular book which they really ought to have, and gets points for every other person who HAS read the book. In other words, you win by choosing books which everyone but you has read. In real life games, everyone can have several turns until someone has racked up enough points to easily win, or the group tires of the game.

Over in earlymodern, elettaria has started an LJ version of Humiliation. There are games going strong in a number of other journals and communities, including an enormous one in literary_theory. But the problem with playing in comments is that it's very easy for whoever commented first to garner the most votes. Many of the early players will forget to check back and see if they've read later competitors' books or not. Later players will have the most chances to vote on the earliest players.

Thus I am nobly volunteering my LJ-space for a more organized version of the game. If you want to compete, comment below with the name of a book you've never read. On Saturday afternoon, I'll compile all the entries into a poll, with lots of ticky boxes, so everyone will have equal access to votes. On Monday, we'll find out who won. The more popular the book, the more likely you are to win - but do be honest.

Update: Entries are closed for this edition of Humiliation. Voting is now underway for the worst-read entrant!


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 25th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)
War and Peace
Feb. 25th, 2005 09:57 pm (UTC)
It's a terrific game, invented I believe by David Lodge. I have never read "The Canterbury Tales".
Feb. 25th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC)
All other posts on this subject I've read cited the game from David Lodge. According to Amazon, the book in question, Small World, was published on June 1, 1995. We played the game in June-July 1995, so either our grad students were very early players of the game, or else the game predates the book to some degree.
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 - Feb. 25th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Feb. 25th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 25th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)
I never read Hamlet
Feb. 25th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
I have never read The Grapes of Wrath.
Feb. 25th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
oh, i'm a loser...
I have never read The Illiad.

you may now kick me out of the academy.
Feb. 25th, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
I've never read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Feb. 25th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
Pride and Prejudice

... and that was such a fun trip. The day I left I remember thinking that I wished I could spend the rest of the summer hiding out in a corner of your room ;)
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you came to visit that summer!

Have you read any other Jane Austen books?
(no subject) - littleowl - Feb. 25th, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
Does having to read the first couple of chapters in English class aged 12 (they made us go round the class reading a few paragraphs aloud) count as having read it?

If not, then I'll put down 'The Hobbit'

(never got round to it, read too many Forgotten Realms instead)

If so, then I'll go with...hm...Around the World in 80 Days.
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
If you haven't read most of the book, I think you can safely claim it.
(no subject) - kashmera - Feb. 25th, 2005 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
Lord of the Rings
Feb. 26th, 2005 12:12 am (UTC)
Oooh--that'll win if *Pride and Prejudice* doesn't.
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
Colin wants to play - he hasn't read Watership Down.

I'm still trying to decide, but currently I'm leaning more towards something from modern popular fiction instead of a classic.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - owlfish - Feb. 25th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Feb. 25th, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Feb. 26th, 2005 06:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)

Pride and Prejudice. :S
Feb. 25th, 2005 11:45 pm (UTC)
You're in with littleowl for that one. If you win, you'll have to share. (Which is fine. But just so you know that glory would not be yours alone.)
Feb. 26th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC)
Good for you for the better mousetrap!

::thinks, since I totally lost out with the last one I played::

Small World
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 26th, 2005 06:12 am (UTC)
You're a very well read computer-geek though. I wouldn't do well with movies either.

Thanks to this game, other instances of it, and your explanation, I've now hear a fair amount about David Lodge. How are his books readability-wise? Did you enjoy them?

I think this makes two of you pinning your hopes to Wuthering Heights. Not that I've read it either.
Feb. 26th, 2005 04:55 am (UTC)
I have never read The Bell Jar...it just never came up.
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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )