Wednesday, March 11, 2009


n+1 #7

The Death of Virgil, Broch. Covered elsewhere.

The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club, Slavin. Surprisingly dull and unsurprising stories, given the subject matter.

The End of Mr Y, Thomas. This one really sounds like a fun ride: a cursed book whose readers die mysteriously, dimensional travel, communication with spirits and the afterlife, a literary mystery. So why is it such a horrible read? It just comes across as unconvincing. Even quite-probable details like the promiscuity of the main character come across as tales told by a chronic liar, when handled by this author. And the giant mouse spirit guide who's kept alive by a group of schoolkids running a webpage -- come on, that's just silly.

Vital Speeches of the Day, Jan '09, Feb '09

Emerson: Mind On Fire, Richardson. A mighty tome, containing everything there is to know about the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Lapham's Quarterly, Vol 1 #3: "Book of Nature"

The Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral, Francis Bacon.

Anthony and Cleopatra, The Oxford Shakespeare.

Time Famine, Olsen. Quite disappointing, given how long I've been trying to find a copy of this book. Perhaps I should have read it when it came out back in the 90s, before I got critical of writing styles where every noun has its adjective (if not a family of them), where descriptive sentences tend toward the comma-delimited run-on, and where the generally fun use of proper nouns as adjectives becomes redundant, even oppressive.

Autobiography and Other Writings, Benjamin Franklin (Oxford)

Lost Christianities, Bart Ehrman.

The Atlas, Vollmann. Essays of travels to the third world (and, uh, San Francisco) that would be much more enjoyable if Vollman could either go all the way with his attempts at stream-of-consciousness, or abandon it altogether. And if the subject of every story wasn't in some way or other about Vollman getting laid, trying to get laid, or failing to get laid. The only thing more disturbing than the number of times he tells a woman with whom he shares no common language "I love you" is that he may be simple enough to believe it himself.

Lapham's Quarterly, Vol 2 #1: "Eros"

The Tempest, Norton Critical Edition.

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