Monday, February 05, 2007

Time Towards

I have cobbled this missive together over the past few days. It has been stitched and altered within my suffering brain as I braved the elements and volatile games of Scrabble to both buy as well as ascertain what it is I want to read at the present. my debt has been my health as I have finally been overtaken by a headcold. I hope this translates into some colorful reading but i am aware that my faculties have been bruised and blunted.

I finished the Isherwood last week and regarded it with rather mixed opinions. As an example of detail and offering more than mere threads of comic character study, Mr. Norris was a success, at leas for its first sixty percent or so. It did appear towards its second half to immerse itself into the blood trough of German politics circa 1930-1933. This wasn’t keenly realized, in my estimation: I actually kept waiting for the Communists and Nazis to fall out of their chairs (a la Cary Grant in Awful Truth) and for Norris to sacrifice his toupee to the greater good: neither of which occurred.

My relations with Isherwood were then never consummated. I grew t appreciate his work without actually being moved by such. Inexplicably, I then picked up Vidal’s Creation: A Novel. My reasons for such are somewhat murky even to myself. Earlier I was eager to read mailer’s Armies of the Night. I soon discovered that I no longer had the text, or perhaps I simply could no longer find the text. Perhaps it was a subconscious need to stand these two titans of the 60s-70s together, but I elected to read some Vidal and I recalled the interview in last month’s Bookforum where Vidal admitted that he thought that Creation had been unfairly neglected by posterity. I read over 100 pages last Wednesday and I had similar conclusions as to when I finished Mullisch’s Discovery of Heaven. If I was 20, I would have considered it profound. As it is, the didactic nature of such was certainly unappealing. It did inspire at least local continuity and I eagerly read Burgess’ story Hun about Attila. It was a well conceived with only a few areas of obvious pasting. His collection of stories The Devil’s Mode wasn’t well received but I admit to appreciating at least two of the stories and I look forward to at least one other.

Saturday took a carload of us up to Plainsfield, IN where a three story bookstore awaited. An exciting three hours were spent crawling, often with the aid of a flashlight and I am kicking myself for allowing my Mrs. to buy me biography of Bulgakov (what could I have been thinking) it was decent haul and here I must admit capital ignorance. It was not until Friday evening when I was browsing on The Common Review that I discovered who Patrick White was. So goes my shame. I picked up a sterling copy of Voss which I am read in chapter-long snatches and enjoying immensely. The White is sharing billing with a biography of Speer that I became intrigued with a week ago, Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth by Gitta Sereny. Masochistic it may be, I am considering reading Joachim Fest’s Speer: The Final Verdict afterwards. Any delineation of the predisposition for such would require a posting all its own.
Oh, the Michael Chabon serial in the Times magazine is stunning.


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