Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where Did The Good Go?

At present time I am disheartened by the populace which rushes by under my windows in pursuit of the fatted calf. And they say that intelligence is to be found in the street! -Flaubert

Thanksgiving week has historically proved to be a powder keg at my work. This post doesn't concern my work only my own volatile afternoon. My friend Tim sent me an email. I love the man but he has been looking for straw men to contradict ever since his beloved proclaimed mission accomplished. Anchored in the email was the news that Egypt is going to hell in a hand basket. Somehow, this must be Obama's fault! I shrugged and didn't write back; no such notes appeared citing Lenin and eggs. I make my way home and watch United play horrible defense against Benifica in the Champions League.

Sigh. I have completed Still Life by A.S. Byatt and have chewed through 450 pages in Babel Tower, its successor in the Frederica tales. I have nodded as samizdat has tumbled off into what may prove the Big Sleep. Joel is finishing his basement with help imported from Scandinavia. Yeah, I know, it is a holiday week

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women

I read the "memoir" by James Ellroy Tuesday night in one blurred, scratching, sitting. It bothered me. I recognize it could be a stunt, it could be hyperbole. I don't care, it bothered me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Feeling Better

Large slabs of lucidity, albeit in slow motion, was available today. I recalled an interview I viewed with Martin Amis surrounding the publication of The Pregnant Widow. Gazing in the mirror and perhaps sensing the Reaper is now afoot, Amis described this theory of his where writers should stop before say 70 as what occurs subsequent will be senile shit and embarrassing for the legacy as it were.

I should pause to draw attention to Amis' other theories for instance that all Muslims should be stopped and questioned daily so as to "clean their own house."

Well, anyway, Marty, your theory is shit and you know it. I only need cite The Prague Cemetery. There, feel that wrath? I know you do. I still love you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy Then Sick

Umberto Eco concludes his masterful Infinity of Lists with a verse from Apollinaire: Pity for us who always battle on the frontiers of the boundless and the future. Following our return from Chicago I concluded Eco's survey and reveled in selections from Burton, Rabelais, Huysmans and Pynchon. This is certainly a book to be savored.

The first week back at work proved engaging, though I managed to complete Murakami's 1Q84 with a measure below satisfaction. Since then I have considered that the use of Aomame's vocation and personal devotion to intense stretching is an apt portal into the book. Maestro Murakami expects the reader to endure the ritual and the repetition for the sake of a nimble enlightenment. I can’s consider myself as converted.

The Prague Cemetery by Eco became available at the library and I swooped into this pastiche where apparently most of the dialogue is actual from available records, which is astounding. One must measure the recoil when we encounter towards the novel’s conclusion that The Protocols of Zion must include a platform from the Jewish/Freemason Conspiracy that history should be minimized in public education as no one need concern themselves with centuries of tragedy and deception, but focus on a brightened future of possibility. Such cynicism is a shorthand for almost every political movement in history. Eco has certainly triumphed with this one.

My wife’s sister Tihana mailed me a copy of The Loudest Sound and Nothing by Claire Wigfall which I pounced upon and read in a pair of evenings before my present head cold throttled me. I enjoyed the collection with mixed responses as I am so disposed. There are images from within such I can’t manage to elude which I suppose is an endorsement of sorts

Thursday, November 03, 2011


My copy of 1Q84 arrived last Friday, just before we headed north to Chicago. Despite my being on holiday as such. There haven't proved to be enormous slabs of time for reading. I have skipped about with my murakami in tow and managed 20-30 pages stretches. This has culminated in my being around p.400.

My observations have perched around the idea that is may be the darkest work yet from the Nipponese author. It is reckless to suggest, but I felt initially that this was some measure of a response to 2666. Many of the Murakami leitmotifs are present in abundance; the alienation, the awkward encounters with younger women, the brushing with edges of something sinister. Apart form that, this is more visceral than I've grown to expect.