Saturday, March 15, 2008


Finishing Great Expectations last night I was struck by not its immensity -- I am not sure i would've read it presently without the benefit of last weekend's foot of snow -- but, rather, its arduous exploration of the themes of compunction and charity. Whereas the mirror atonements of Ruchard Ford's Sportswriter were too uncomfortable to sustain a current reading, Dickens' Pip was sufficiently distant to bruise.

I don't look to novels for rectitude, nor to novelists.

It has proved to be an endearing sequence, from Darkmans to Great Expectations. I don't doubt that.

There is a fatigue in certain conventions, formulas and genres with limited horizons. It wasn't expected, but perhaps the post-apocalyptic has its own shelf-life, no puns are intended. I read 50 pages of The Pest House last night. I may switch to All The King's Men. I also picked up Terry Teachout's bio of Mencken this a.m. at the library book sale. I am not sure I need to read multiple biographies of the great pen of Baltimore. Aside from Robert Penn Warren and Main Street, I have thought of reading Scandanavian literature, perhaps a return to Hamsun's Hunger and I do think I should (always) read more Russians. If I sound like a weedy parody of The Namesake then so be it and well. . .


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