Monday, May 28, 2007


It was a free-fall of a day after completing the Pears. I did read 40 pages of the Lane Fox about Alexander and TWO pages of the Gibbon. My thoughts drifted, ever the dilettante, and I decided to pursue fiction. My wife bought me a new Penguin reissue of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's stories for Xmas, largely, I'm sure, because of an introduction by Murakami -- whom, of course, we both adore.

The person delineated in the introduction was of a conflicted, ultimately tormented, man. I read the last story of the collection, titled Spinning Gears, which Murakami depicts as an absolute distillation of despair. He is correct in his assessment. I was terribly moved. Hell, I wanted to throw the book out into the street and erase its images from my memory.

I bounced around, read most of the Oxford American and after a lengthy, needed, bike ride I picked up the long anticipated Brighton Rock. I have now read nearly 100 pages and it is a captivating story, alive with detail and the slippery wake of all matters human.


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