Sunday, December 20, 2009

Color Matters Cozy

Lately life has a offered a grand entry into the holiday disposition. Spared by the barrelling storms, it was actually warm here yesterday, I have adjusted to having my wife's sister here as if we were already in that intellectual commune, often imagined through a second or third bottle of wine. It has been amazingly insular, a covent against the proselytizing commercialism just outside the door. N and her sister are reading Jelinek's The Piano Teacher and after finishing Huxley's Antic Hay, I took passage on the flagship Buddenbrooks. This is unlike any of my previously encountered Thomas Mann; perhaps the "refreshing" translation, as noted by the NYT, is the solvent. I am not complaining about the Baroque edifices of Mann's sentences in Magic Mountain, John E. Woods' stewardship is simply a tumbling journey by comparison.

We travelled this a.m. out to the hinterland for a family photograph. My attention highlighted the comparisons between "The Decline of a Family," as depicted by Mann in 1900 with the Midwestern variations circa 2009.


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