What I am reading and what I would like to be reading


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What I am reading and what I would like to be reading

marraskuu 11, 2019, 6:48 pm

I am reading matter by Iain M Banks and I would like to be reading a letter from the french minister of the interior telling me I am now a french citizen.

marraskuu 12, 2019, 1:44 am


marraskuu 12, 2019, 3:47 am

Yes I am doing my own Brexit. Applied for French citizenship 15 months ago, still waiting for the result of my interview and huge paper-filled dossier.

marraskuu 12, 2019, 5:58 am

Did you tell them your recipe for tomato sauce? Or are you holding that back as a coup de foie gras?

marraskuu 12, 2019, 6:01 am

I am reading James Ellroy''s Blood is a Rover to keep my brain on foul US deeds as I slowly write The Assassination of Olof Palme. I would rather be reading the Shostakovich book, so I switch over now and then and take in another quartet.

marraskuu 12, 2019, 11:32 am

Currently reading The Testaments from Atwood - can't think of anything I'd rather be reading right now. Re-read The Handmaid's Tale first.

marraskuu 13, 2019, 5:59 am

In my French class this week we are reading Novecento : Pianiste by Alessandro Barico which has been translated from the Italian into french. A french friend in my village has lent me Le Coeur de L'angleterre which is Middle England by Jonathan Coe translated into French. Its all getting a bit confusing and I just want to get back to reading The faerie Queene which is confusing enough.

marraskuu 13, 2019, 4:09 pm

I'm currently reading Miss Macintosh, My Darling. You can tell right away that you've opened up a masterpiece. It's phantasmagorical, biblical, psychological, with nothing culled. In essence, maximal.

There's a man who is unsure of whether he's his dead twin brother or not.
A woman who is perpetually pregnant and the doctor tells her that she is only "pregnant with the yeast of her dreams."
There's a woman in an opium coma in bed who is visited by emperors and pearl-divers and formal penguins and Pythagoras and "sister ravens who had created the universe," etc.

I would like to be reading to many other things as well. Just to name a few from the legion that's on my bookshelf: Bottom's Dream, Terra Nostra, Women and Men, 2666, and Mangled Hands.

marraskuu 27, 2019, 6:47 am

Started Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker. This won't take long to finish I was tempted to stay up last night, but managed to put it down.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 27, 2019, 3:18 pm

The other Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. So far so good.

joulukuu 5, 2019, 11:10 am

Some light relief from Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene I am starting The English Constitution by Walter Bagehot. I am sure I have had this book as a text book at some time, but it looks as though I have never opened it.

tammikuu 1, 2020, 4:59 pm

> Now I know why I never opened it.

I have started instead King Henry VI The Arden Shakespeare edition.

tammikuu 1, 2020, 5:11 pm

The first act of Henry VI Part 1 is generally accepted to be the work of your friend Thomas Nashe...

tammikuu 1, 2020, 6:23 pm

>13 Crypto-Willobie: This does not surprise me, being kind I would say it is laboured, but this impression was gained on a first run through read.

tammikuu 2, 2020, 12:17 pm

>13 Crypto-Willobie: Totally surprised by the Jack Cade scenes - certainly something to think about.

tammikuu 2, 2020, 3:55 pm

Bas -- Are you using the Arden II or Arden III editions?

Btw, some of the latest attributionists assign the Joan of Arc scenes in 1H6 and the Cade scenes to Christopher Marlowe. This has not been universally accepted, though it's more accepted that WS was collaborating with someone on the H6 plays.

Sir Brian Vickers thinks the main collaborator was Thomas Kyd, but he seems to see Kyd everywhere, and though he has his backers he also has his detractors. I notice you list Edward III as by Kyd and WS but so far that's only accepted by the "Vickers school". Brian is a smart guy but sometimes he's like a dog with a bone, whether there's meat on that bone or not...

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 2020, 4:54 pm

I have the third series for 2King Henry VI and 3King Henry VI and at the moment am reading and enjoying Ronald Knowles introduction

tammikuu 5, 2020, 10:28 am

Well, I'm toiling away again this year, a little at a time, on Imperial by Vollman. Also, just started The Reading Life by Lewis. And about to start Where You Once Belonged by Haruf.

tammikuu 5, 2020, 11:38 am

I would be interested to see your thoughts on the C S Lewis reading primer.

tammikuu 9, 2020, 2:44 pm

Here's a tidbit from the first chapter, bas:

"Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He maybe full of goodness and good sens but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we would be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen though the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. ... Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do."

tammikuu 9, 2020, 4:38 pm

I'm hooked

tammikuu 9, 2020, 7:20 pm

I am reading the Long Tomorrow, Leigh Brackett and I hope to finish it tomorrow.

tammikuu 10, 2020, 7:12 pm

I have started Complaints a Poetry collection by Edmund Spenser - It is made up of 9 fairly long poems or translations.

I will also be reading The Malayan Trilogy by Anthony Burgess.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 11, 2020, 6:31 am

Tears of the muses - Edmund Spenser is one of the poems in his collection of Complaints. In the poem the nine muses of Greek mythology each lament on the state of the world in Spenser's time. The muse of comedy laments about pleasant Willy which some writers have thought referred to William Shakespeare. Unfortunately the poem was published in 1591 and Shakespeare was still very much alive:

And he the Man, whom Nature self had made
To mock her self, and Truth to imitate,
With kindly Counter under Mimick Shade,
Our pleasant Willy, ah! is dead of late:
With whom all Joy and jolly Merriment
Is also deaded, and in Dolour drent.

But if the reference to Shakespeare is not relevant then Spenser can be feted for predicting President Trump:

So I, that do all noble Feats profess
To register, and sound in Trump of Gold,
Through their bad Doings, or base Slothfulness,
Find nothing worthy to be writ or told:
For better far it were to hide their Names,
Than telling them, to blazon out their Blames.

tammikuu 24, 2020, 8:11 am

I am reading The Blind Spot by Austin Hall 1951 science fiction.

helmikuu 3, 2020, 5:45 am

I am reading two books at the moment:

La Femme gauchère The left handed woman by Peter Handke. It was originally written in German and I am reading a French translation. Handke was born in Austria and now lives in Slovenia. How international (European) is all that.

I am also reading Erewhon by Samuel Butler and I am dipping into English Drama 1586-1642 The age of Shakespeare by G K Hunter

helmikuu 3, 2020, 7:47 am

I thought Handke was in a town near Paris? Don't tell me they drove him here...

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 2020, 4:30 pm

I am reading a couple of Science Fiction Books from 1951 both by Robert Heinlein The Green Hills of Earth which are short stories and The Puppet Masters which is a full length novel. Sexist - certainly, racist quite probably. I hope the stories are good. I would rather be reading the next Shakespeare play coming up after these two.

helmikuu 6, 2020, 4:38 pm

>27 RickHarsch: Yes his address when he won the noble, oops Nobel prize for literature was Chaville France. I suppose he must have lived in Slovenia at some period in his life.

helmikuu 6, 2020, 5:11 pm

>29 baswood: Well...nothing we can do about it now...we've got plenty of revisionists anyway, going back before the 90s, of course, anti-partisan swine...
And here on the what I'm reading thread, me now reading two later Celines, Castle to Castle and North. But also Tito and His Comrades by Jože Pirjevec, for clarity...

helmikuu 6, 2020, 5:58 pm

Ha - Louis-Ferdinand Céline - a controversial choice. I have not read anything by him, I must ask my French teacher whether I should?

helmikuu 6, 2020, 6:50 pm

His Journey to the End of the Night is one of the great novels of the 20th century, and he followed it up with Mort a Credit, also quite good. By 1938 he was publshing anti-semitic pamphlets. I asked a French friend about that just the other day. He is no expert on Celine, but he just shook his head and said at that time, intellectuals were making extreme choices. I can't find my biography of Celine, which was here when we moved in and had slithered away. But I am deeply curious about it. He was a particularly independent man, and latterly a misanthrope, but he also worked free in poor neighborhoods during the time he wrote his first novel. Arlt published his book 1929-31, Celine 1932 or 1934, two writers who I think saw the same thing happening in the world, both reacting with extreme aversion, deeply emotionally...Arlt faded from the world of great literature. Celine wrote anti-semitic pamphlets. I don't believe he was ever a Nazi, a fascist, but I can imagine him hating literary leftists. He came to hate quite easily. Some Frenchman must have written a short piece called What's Eating at Ferdi?

helmikuu 6, 2020, 10:46 pm

Journey to the end of the night is a good read. I enjoyed it very much.

helmikuu 7, 2020, 3:31 am

Journey to the end of the night seems to be the one to read - I'll get myself a copy

helmikuu 7, 2020, 8:37 am

I've read it at least three times.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 7, 2020, 1:26 pm

Bas, buy the edition illustrated by Tardi


Muokkaaja: helmikuu 7, 2020, 3:41 pm

#32--Celine is a great writer IMO. I have read a lot of biographical material on him and a conclusion I reached from all that is that if you ever had a chance to meet him in person--you'd been better off declining. He had a variety of ways of driving people away--and could be really nasty doing it. At the same time he could be sycophantic if he wanted something out of you. He was also quite the philanderer but he didn't really like people much at all. He liked animals a lot more. His character/behavior is informed by his petit bourgeois upbringing and some very bad WWI experiences. How he became a doctor--not going to a university but several years of studying the material out of libraries and showing up for state wide tests--eventually he was adapted as a project by a rich doctor who got him the rest of the way--Celine marries this man's daughter and walks away from her and their child out of the blue one day (or for no known reason) and that's when he starts treating the very poor in Drancy and soon after started writing books.

WWI injuries--severed nerve in the shoulder of his writing hand. They were going to amputate it--it dogs him for the rest of his life. Also probably a pretty severe untreated head injury (he always complains about the noises or ringing in his head and claims to have a plate in his head (that's untrue)-). He also picks up a dose of malaria post WWI in Cameroon. Once gotten that never leaves you. As a physician he has access to morphine--he injects a dose of that in his arm every day (I've seen pictures of him where his arm was bloated to about twice its size). The older he gets the more prone to outbursts. Some of the WWII shit you're reading about in Castle to Castle and North have biographical merit as there are witnesses---he gets angry and goes off like a volcano and it doesn't matter if it's one of his own or an SS officer--he's spitting mad. There is much opinion that he was insane or at least on the edge--artists and insanity can go quite well together. The Nazi's wanted to use him as a propaganda tool kind of like Ezra Pound--he wasn't interested at all. I don't think he like them much either. He didn't like Petain or most of the Vichy people. He really didn't like even most of his patients. His wife, ballet dancers, old ladies who would take him down memory lane and/or reminded him of his mother and very small children who he thought of as innocents and animals are pretty much who he liked.

helmikuu 7, 2020, 5:57 pm


helmikuu 25, 2020, 1:47 pm

I am reading Playgoing in Shakespeare's London by Andrew Gurr

helmikuu 25, 2020, 6:12 pm

I am reading. That's good news. I've been in a long slump. I was put off by Celine's later novels and couln't happily pick them up...finally I was directed toward a book I got from slickpdx, The Public Burning, by Coover, and I am on p.137, which is a triumph, even if it has taken nearly a week. If this burst continues I will go through my stack of unread Antunes novels...

toukokuu 23, 2020, 3:40 pm

A review of the Snow Leopard by Pete M.


toukokuu 23, 2020, 4:13 pm

Happy Lockdown Mac

toukokuu 23, 2020, 11:30 pm

Merci Bas.
At least it frees time to read

syyskuu 22, 2020, 6:26 pm

The room was waiting. What else could a room do?

syyskuu 22, 2020, 10:37 pm

Haven’t posted here in awhile. Reading The Big Sleep by Chandler. Good stuff

syyskuu 23, 2020, 6:00 pm

I am reading David Vardeman's latest novel, April is the Cruelest Month, a very funny start, but I am having to put off reading Chandler Brossard's Wake Up, We're Almost There.

syyskuu 24, 2020, 1:45 am

Reading Marcel Pagnol's childhood memories.
Finishing Hav by Jan Morris

syyskuu 30, 2020, 6:05 pm

After finishing Rick Harsch's very contemporary The manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas I am having trouble wrapping my head round a collection of Elizabethan love sonnets - Diana by Henry Constable.

I have also started a book of Poems by W H Auden Nones published in 1951.

syyskuu 30, 2020, 11:33 pm

Reading Marcel Pagnol's childhood memories.
Finishing Hav by Jan Morris
Started Wagnerism by Alex Ross

marraskuu 11, 2020, 5:59 pm

>48 baswood: Harsch's Manifold Destiny is a masterpiece!