Friday, September 25, 2009


I finished Headlong. The night before, we viewed Greenaway's Nightwatching about Rembrandt. I have since decided that I will view Bleak House as a seasonal read and finish that toward Thanksgiving. I am presently reading Byatt's Virgin In The Garden.

I am taking Imperial to Chicago with me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Noteworthy Dates

My wife and I celebrated our seventh anniversary earlier in the week. She finished V by Pynchon the same day. She's now reading Ovid and sharing anecdotes from such, anticipations of Shakespeare and other colorful material.

I will finish Headlong this afternoon and will be returning to Bleak House.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Step Aside

Lumbering under the joyful heft of Bleak House, I deicded that after the crush of Monday-through-Wednesday I was going to finish the week with a diversion. I had been nibbling at The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin, favorite amongst those i esteem . I was amazed in the Acknowledgements at the chummy incest where Tomalin can leisurely ask Eric Hobsbawm and John Keegan for detailed asides on aspects of Victorian London. This sensation, envy(?), propelled me to The Biographer's Tale by A.S.Byatt. I thoroughly enjoyed the opening sections but soon found it to be a polite nod to W.G. Sebald rife with photographs and replicated drawings, all of which were laden with Sebald's beloved silkworms and beetles. I finished the novel yesterday after a bicycle ride to Louisville.

My next stop was Michael Frayn's Headlong. I was unfamiliar with his work and only knew him as Ms. Tomalin's husband. My experience has proved quite rich for the decision. Headlong is an amazing novel, bubbling with humor, mis-steps and intellectual excitement.

I hope to reach p. 500 in Bleak House by the weekend.

Damn The Economist

Note my grin as I pen such. There review of another biography of Dickens included the announcement that Jo dies in the course of Bleak House. Sigh. I read two chapters of Bleak House this a.m. after taking a few detours over the past four days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Scrying Pools

It is regrettable. While thoroughly enjoying Bleak House, I haven't demonstrated much velocity with it. A key element in this enigma may be the murky demise of our espresso machine and this likewise opaque interim until the new one arrives. Caffeine is this realm's coin and such is especially necessary with Dickens.

I think rather often about that cited passage where Charley returns to the gnashing metropolis. Just as powerful is the 'lawyers' lunch" where I am presently perched.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bleak House

First off, Joel is correct, the Reich Chancellery was APPOINTED to Hitler. The political accordion of the Reichstag was looking for stability in lieu of a attempted coups and ongoing urban unrest. The loud man with the mustache appeared, at the time, to be a tolerable evil. Alas, I finished The Coming of the Third Reich yesterday and have tagged multiple postings over at samizdat.

Meanwhile I continue to loiter in the dark alleys of Bleak House, having made it to p. 320. There have only been subtle brushings towards the darker natures. I admit to being surprised by that. Instead, the novel is rich and often hilarious. I should devote an entire post on the Ur-urchin and how Jo stands up to the unwashed in Hugo and Dostoevsky. Lawrence Boythorn is an amazing character and whatever sighs Dickens may solicit with unwarranted sentimentality, even so, how hardened a heart can't appreciate the portrait of Charley, not even a teen and supporting her two siblings:
I don't know where she was going, but we saw her run, such a little
creature, in her womanly bonnet and apron, though a covered way at the bottom of
the court; and melt into the city's strife and sound, like a dewdrop in an

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Such is the location of this year's EuroBasket, thus its been on my mind a good deal. Kapuscinski was a native son and while I have been rabid about his prose, his heart and vision have always been sources of inspiration. That was the case with Travels With Herodotus, which I finished last week following his premise that if life was governed by reason, then there wouldn't likely be a need for a discipline like history. Looking back at his first foreign assignments and also recognizing, conversely, that he was approaching the final years of his life, the refracted wisdom united carefully from experiences is an artisan craft, one which Kapuscinski achieves with verve.

My next foray proved to be into Bleak House, something I was considering for winter or a lengthy holiday. The pages have greeted me warmly. Dickens creates for the reader a visage, he's a trusted old friend and he's returned to entertain. I am at p. 205 or so and the strands of plot are lucid, but quite distinct.

Samizdat plugs along and I have made it to Hitler being elected Reich Chancellor in the Evans. I will need to order the second volume on Friday.