Monday, January 05, 2009


Upon the recumbent afternoon, I decided shortly after finishing Possession that I was on pace to read 270 books this year, provided, of course, that I refrained form going to work and vegetated in a moaning, feverish state.

Saturday witnessed the day-long hike through The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead, my wife finished it a hour before I did. I enjoyed the philosophical aspects of Fulton's journals, the image of him walking through the stacks toting a lantern, but still I found the novel totally lacking. There was a reviewer on Amazon who compared it to The Crying of Lot 49 and found Whitehead's first novel entirely slight: I tend to agree but don't feel the need for such sweeping drama.

I finished, as noted, Possession and was moved; not simply by the pat bibliophilia, glorified thematically, that I share and find so central. No, it was simply the humanity of the story, which resonated defiantly despite the set pieces and the flimsy stature of some of the characters. I then spent some time with Dickens and Wilkie Collins but find myself leaning, despite warning from those i trust to another novel of Byatt's: Babel Tower.
We shall see.


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