Saturday, January 24, 2009

Art Tatum in the A.M.

It was the very essence of his life to be a solitary achievement, accomplished not by hermit-like withdrawal with its silence and immobility, but by a system of restless wandering, by the detachment of an impermanent dweller amongst scenes.
--Joseph Conrad

overtones of unsentimental sadness that suggest that he was never unmindful of human vulnerability and was doing what he was doing with such imperturbable casualness not only in spite of but also as a result of all the troubles he had seen, been beset by, and somehow survived.
--Albert Murray, on Lester Young

Complete-Review raised a few eyebrows recently when they afforded Lloyd Jones' Mister Pip an A+, a rare honor for such a circumspect litblog, one that I admire, even when I disagree with their assessments. I was lucky enough to find a copy on New Year's Day and after being tossed asunder by inclimate weather, a brutal work week and declining health, I tucked in to this gem of a novel. I suppose one has to love Great Expectations to really plumb the depths of Mister Pip, but I wager that many will love such with the prior benefit. I then slept for 14 hours and waking afloat in more fever I spent yesterday reading both War and Peace (my new P and V translation) and Conrad's Victory: alternating throughout the day.

I feel better today, though not quite hale. I did dash out and picked up a few of the Lew Archer novels, perhaps for the morrow.


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