Wednesday, August 30, 2006


The onion soup I made last night not only didn't secure a French victory in the WQBC it has has lingered, seemingly on my fingers and rising from my pores, a miasma of culinary curiosity. I don't know. I am feeling a reduced urge to write here as of late. I beleive I have found focus in Tom Franklin's first novel but it is precisely the idea of layering texts at hand which is diluting my purpose. Alas, I am reading. I am saving. Holiday is in two months.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Feeling Good

Last Sunday I did read all of garden, Ashes by Kis. It was profound, though it offered a series of perspectives which could adequately been captured by the designation Cubist. I enjoyed it. I then spent the remainder of the week slowly being pulverized hefty work of Robert Musil. My dreams were littered with Thomas Mann, zombies and airports. I couldn't take it. I stopped.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Books I have bought

As I have noted previously, I don't think much of Nick Hornby as a novelist nor as a near self-imposed culture mave in the arid land between Literature and popular music, that said, his collum Polysyllabic Spree is always what I read first in The Believer. The detours amongst what he plans to read, what he buys and what he actually devours are an odd mirror to my meanderings, much like what I fathom this blog as yielding.

That said, my wife and braved the rains and went north to Bloomington yesterday. We bought six books. the first two at the Monroe County Library and the others at Caveat Emptor.

1) The Sea Lion by Jack London
2) Questions of Bruno by A. Hemon
3) Don't Die Before You're Dead by Y Yetuvshenko
4)Where The Air is Clear by C Fuentes
5) The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis
6) Garden, Ashes by D. Kis

I have read both the Hemon (loaned by Ed - thanks) and the Yevtushenko before. N bought the Kis for me as well as the Fuentes, since we don't have either in English and it is the Fuentes novel she wrote her thesis paper on in Spanish Lit class back in beograd. The latest Believer has a fascinating article on London and I thought about giving him a try; incidentally, I bought the Sea-Wolf for Joel for xmas in 1992. Allow me to sigh on that memory.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The evening has proved languid and I read. The eighty page Introduction of sorts was finished in the Musil. The text remains dense with ideas and my thoughts have drifted from Frederic Morton's popular histories of Vienna to certain scenes in both Saturday and Siegfried, falling phrases of detail or moment that have clung to the mind's minor eye.

Not Wearing Spandex

It has been a long day. One punctuated with rays of compassion and hope. Perhaps these will soon be forgotten, buried underneath contentious thoughts? I don't know. My reading menu has recently been enhanced by the generosity of my friends: as noted previously Ed's loan of Overthrow has become my bedside book while Joel bought me the complete text of a relatively new (1995) translation of Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities. The text is staggering not only in terms of girth, it is over 2200 pages, but is a hurricane of philosophy of and literature, profiling not only an outsider, but the decline and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the prism of decadent Vienna. The other day I recalled that Joel bought me a collection of three novella by Thomas Bernhard three years ago for my birthday, not that such deserves any analysis beyond the humane.I have thought of Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth while immersed in the Musil, it measures the pulse of both and then plunges deeper, weaving through song, mathematics and drunkeness to some murky spring of crime. It promises to be quite the ride.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Making Sense

Such a lovely day and i am tired. I suppose turning 36 this week has exacerbated such possibility. I also pinched my finger on a new cutter I bought myself. My reading continues albeit scattered. An absence of actual dialogue on the Vollmann has been a concern. I read 50 pages or so from the new Carlos Fuentes, I may have posted on that: actually I don't think I did - is such a misuse of actually? Lets hear it for epistolary novels. Okay - marching on, I continue to love my slow reading of the latest Amos Oz. Its wrinkled character, courtesy of an ill-fated encounter with sudden storm two weeks ago, reminds me of my stupidity. I do love this book and find it incredibly timely.

My friend Ed dropped off a book titled Overthrow today and I just read the five page introduction outside while the breezes nearly approached the chilly and the four dollar cigar was remarkable: much beter than the twelve dollar variety I treated myself to on my birthday.

I don't know what the weeknd will deliver but I am content if weary this afternoon. I suppose i should establish a goal, perhaps towards the Vollmann.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Saddled Returns

The back page essay in this a.m.'s Book Review is about a man who can't stop beginning new books, the fellow is named Joe Queenan and he is currently reading 27 books at the same time. My own regimen has never curved outward in such a robust manner. I am usually a two book guy, one which I am reading either with Samizdat or my wife and one that I read for myself. Strange enough, one of the criteria for the personal selection is portability. Who knows? I finished Sputnik Sweetheart yesterday and wasn't moved by it. would relegate it to the second rung of Murakami's achievement which makes it better than most, but ultimately unsatisfying. I began the Grass book From The Diary Of A Snail but i think I am eager to return to the Oz memoir. It is odd how that freakish rainstorm warped a cd boxset and soaked a book which I was despite myself really enjoying. I would say that I will finish the Tournier by the end of this month, along with the Vollmann, I imagine. I have moved Burton's Melancholy to the watercloset and will thus began my concluding approach - it should only take a few years.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bob Zimmerman

I once worked with a fellow named Bob Zip. He was quite a nice guy. I heard he won a lottery and retired. Good for him. I had a journalism course with his step son in high school. As far as I can tell neither of them were Jewish.

The epic events of this age and especially this past week all appeared entangled with Judaism. That doesn't explain my relative silence. Many things happen as it were. Mincing and mixing metaphors I was either the target of blogspot Unabomber or my passing frame proved irresistable to a beltway sniper, either way I have been busy. Foremost with keeping Samizdat afloat and thus backtracking repeatedly to the Vollmann. My friends have all managed marvelous efforts and the experience has been rewarding even if it stops short of being considered discursive.

Such still doesn't exress my reasons, should such be delineated, at not engaging here as has become my formative habit.

What has transpired involved this holiday season and my disocvery of a new writer, courtesy of my better half. I read three books in 24 hours htis past week, two of which are by Mempo Giardinelli, a strange yet intense writer from Argentina. His novel Sultry Moon was described as kafkaesque but i considered it similar to the early Nabokov of Despair or the Enchanter, toying with genre to put food on the table for Vera and Mitya. The other novel was titled Tenth Circle and I didn't like it as much. This may have resulted from my reading of its twin just hours before.

My sister-in-law (and best man) has been plugging at her dissertation and I have been enlisted to read both the work in progress as well as possible association with other such texts. This has led me to read Salome by Wilde which I found terrific and an eerie anticipation of Beckett.

I have been enjoying Sputnick Sweetheart these past few days, another gift from my beloved. I hope to report on such and consider both another loop through Nietzsche (for Tihana) as well as keeping with the Vollmann, which I fear I have lagged behind yet again.