Monday, August 23, 2010

Presently Immune To Tugs

That hard boiled bent of my last posted expression allowed me to cruise for a spell in MacDonald's Underground Man and then I found my form and dashed into Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the porch, tears in my eyes pondering the Sikta Settlements in Eskimo lands and I then compared such with the present stage in Iran. This isn't going to end well.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Progress, Thinking Ahead

I completed The Imperfectionists today. Tom Rachman was on NPR on Thursday and then I encountered his text at IUS. Such a tome, despite it being uneven, was an enjoyable diversion on an odd, perhaps uneven, Saturday.

I am thinking of reading Ross MacDonald's The Underground Man and Occupied City by David Peace.

With Feeling

A friend of mine read Zorba the Greek ten years ago during a tough stretch. I like to imagine that it helped resolve matters. I read Zorba last week and I found it a solid diversion. Most likely it should have been read 15-20 years ago, but i was still impressed with lyricism, actually surprised by its violence and and pleased with the fact that Zorba was actually Macedonian and that he died in Serbia being attended by wife, fifty years his junior, and terrified of the meddling of both physicians and priests.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Future's Funnel

Zorba The Greek has occupied me these last few days. The work appeared initially simplistic and laden with absolutes, I quipped that the shores of Crete must be littered with Truth and Justice. The work soon intensified and became human, imperfect and indecisive. I was thinking of reading Gerald Durrell.

My wife is reading the new David Mitchell and I am planning on reading the Hitchens memoir as soon as it arrives from the library. That said, a friend sent me a Borders gift card for my birthday, such was transformed this morning into The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Despite my appreciation for Madame Bovary, I have always preferred Stendhal. My discretion recognized the accolades heaped upon Gustave by Mario Vargas Llosa and Julian Barnes, two of my favorite novelists, but the back story of Flaubert as related by Edward Said and Juan Goytisolo left me uncomfortable around GF and "the Exotic." That said, I completed Three Tales by Flaubert this afternoon amidst a thunderstorm and neighborhood drama involving an SUV, teenagers and a parked car. My preference proceeds accordingly to the sequence of the book. A Simple Heart was powerful and perfect in measure and statement.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reading at 40

The household birthdays passed with significant pleasure. I found it appropriate to devote my birthday reading to Quest For Corvo. I finished such last night and feel refreshed for the effort. Unlike , say, The Orientalist, or Stone Reader, I have no rampant desire to sprint out and read Hadrian VI. Perhaps it is a testament to my age, chronological not epochal.

It is regarded as odd that I completed Last Samurai last week and I really haven't thought about it. I enjoyed the novel, especially the savant. It has made me want to view Kurosawa again. It also confirmed that thinking regularly about Glenn Gould and Raoul Wallenberg is a healthy endeavor and I should continue such.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Reflection not Rage

My friend Roger turned 50 last week and commissioned a smoked Baltic Porter to celebrate such. The beverage is named Ancient Rage and he then penned a column for the Tribune where he denotes a levelling of disposition as he ages. His infamous temper has been relaxed by the passing of years. I spoke to him yesterday about such.

It is no accident that I have arrived at the section of Brothers Karamazov portraying the "odor of corruption" for poor Father Zosima. It does appear well timed on my end. I turn 40 in a few hours and find myself emotionally relaxed. I recognize my limitations and strive to act accordingly.

I am past p. 100 in Jan Kjaerstad's The Seducer. Much like The Conqueror which I read last year, it is a pastiche of the bawdy and the poetic, framing modern Norway in the figure of protagonist Jonas Wergeland.

I would like to push to the end of the Dostoevsky this week. I also purchased Little Stranger by Sarah Waters this a.m. at the library sale.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Our Weekend

The air felt like unrolled peat. The heat simply sapped, a force bereft of hesitation or mercy. I spent the weekend finishing Dewitt's The Last Samurai and Almost Dead by Assaf Gavron. I enjoyed both, the former was a case of curiosities, each tangent to be explored and savored. The latter was a surprising treat, an even handed novel about the Intifada which reveals a macabre humor about the world of suicide bombers.