So. What's in my current stack? Can I remember without going to grab it and read off the titles?
Let's see ... I just started Dora, Doralina, a novel assigned more than ten years ago in my Brazilian Literature class at Cal. I'm reading an English translation. I like the voice -- grumpy but philosophical. The narrator is recalling herself as a young woman living on her mother's fazenda (ranch). She met the man who became her husband when he came to survey the property line. She often fights with her mother, whom she calls "Senhora" rather than "Mama".
I'm reading a book on the Ba-Benzelle pygmies written by an American who has been living with them for the last ten or fifteen years. He fell in love with their music and traveled to central Africa to record it and stayed. The book accompanies a CD of music.
Have two or three poetry anthologies going, a huge one of poetry from around the world that was published a few years ago by the Book of the Month Club. It's not bad. But I'm indifferent to most of the poems. I started another anthology to get some contemporaries in my head, The Heights of the Marvelous, a gathering of poets in New York City published in 2000. It's more fun than the world stuff.
I just finished the second volume of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Did he write it after the Hollywood movie adaptation of the first volume? The movie seems to have been based more on Moore's concept than any story he wrote. Anyway, I wonder if anger at Hollywood led Moore to kill off two of the Gentleman ... the pages seem cluttered with 19th century fiction's fantastic elements and the result rather a mess. There's a long prose travelogue at the back of the book which I guess I'll read. Also reading Grickle, a collection of short comics starring very expressive stick figures.
Anything else? ... A book by a man who wanted to see what the contemporary Maya are up to. A thousand years ago they were the height of American civilization -- one of two (or was it three?) cultures in the world that invented the zero, had a calendar more accurate than any in the world, built grand pyramids and domesticated chocolate. So far the accounts of his travels have been superficial. Am I on the fourth chapter? He's only spoken at length with one contemporary Mayan person, and that man was quite Americanized having grown up in (I think) Chicago.
Volume two of Kafka's diaries. So unhappy! So dissatisfied!