In Einem Andern Land by Ernest Hemingway: Ein alter Favorit, dieses Mal auf Deutsch gelesen, als ich ein Kopie in dieser Sprache fand. Ich habe vergessen, wo ich es gefunden habe. Das ist aber nicht wichtig.
Narrative Innovation and Incoherence
by Michael Boardman: Mostly comprehensible, although I have not yet
read all of the works Boardman discusses. The claim is that when some
writers discover they cannot express their worldview within forms
they've previously used to shape fictions, they invent new forms that,
because not under full control of the writer, contain areas of
incoherence that reveal themes and ideas not necessarily visible to the
writer. Innovation as Freudian slip. The anxiety of anxiety.
by Thomas Bernhard: A beautiful final page, but a job of work getting
there. Less interesting and effective overall than other Bernhard novels
I've read, and oddly repetitive in a way that didn't work. An odd cross
between Grass, Nabokov, and Beckett, with dashes of Stein. Perhaps the
central argument of the book was too thin to support all the
Flowers of Mold
by Ha Seong-Nan: Some readers, I think, are most excited by strange
premises and unlikely events. I am, alas, not so much one of those
readers. The observations about gender bias and materialism are very
good. I got tired of protagonists being called "the man." Some of the
narrative gambits were highly effective, though not necessarily for the
full length of the story.
Baroque Music: A Practical Guide for the Performer
by Victor Rangel-Ribeiro: Answers such vital questions as, "In the
music of J. S. Bach, do dotted figures played against triplets in duple
time have the ratio of 3:1 or 2:1?" Chatty, opinionated, and
informative, covering a wide range of works and instruments. (The answer
is 3:1, by the way, or even 3.5:.5 if you double-dot the figures to
give a nice rhythmic snap.)
A Change of Time
by Ida Jessen: From those plucky folks at Archipelago. A middle-aged
woman is set adrift when her husband (a doctor in rural Denmark) dies of
cancer. He had not warned Lilly (his wife) that he was ill, and without
her knowledge had already made arrangements for his funeral, the
disposition of his property, and his replacement to the post. Grim and
unsentimental until it comes in for a gentle landing. A contemporary
novel, but quite Isak Dinesen in style and tone.
by Claire Keegan: A short story set in County Wexford in 1985. Now
apparently part of the curriculum of Irish schools. Somehow the young
narrator reminds me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Richly
detailed, very fine writing ("The presence of a black and white cat
moves on the window ledge."), but it all feels like the first act of
something abandoned before the story really gets moving. Which is how I
feel about most of Raymond Carver's work, so what do I know. Carver is
famous and influential and I am not.
Also, today is the 163rd birthday of Saint Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, the greatest short-story writer in history, and the father of modern theater. Drink a glass of vodka, perform a selfless act, and then go read something, why don't you?
|"Tell my friends that they are living badly, and must stop it."|