Friday, June 02, 2006

pile of reading

Walden / Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Poems for the Millennium: the University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry, Volume Two: From Postwar to Millennium, edited by Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris

The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

The Long Walk to Freedom, the autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, the C.K. Scott Montcrief translation

The Woman in the Shaman’s Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicine by Barbara Tedlock, Ph.D.

Tropical Truth: a story of music and revolution in Brazil by Caetano Veloso

Queer Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories, edite by Bob Guter & John R. Killacky

How We Die: Reflection on Life’s Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland

Of Men and Monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Construction of the Serial Killer by Richard Tithecott

Pictopia #4, a Fantagraphics anthology of art comics

Drawn & Quarterly #5, a DQ anthology of art comics

a May 2005 issue of The New Yorker


David Lee Ingersoll said...

We have Remembrence of Things Past in our book collection. It's a four or five volume trade paperback boxed edition. It looks nice. It's big enough to kill a cat. I also find myself thinking that it should be one of the books I get rid of during a book purge. It's got that reputation of being the Greatest Novel Every Written. Poor book. That just tells me that it's probably dull and filled with annoying characters. How is Swann's Way?

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Proust is actually not so daunting as I'd expected. When I would dip into it over the years it always seemed to me I would hit on some endless complicated sentence, which seemed interesting but intimidating. Now that I'm reading I find it's not that hard; mostly Proust loves parentheticals and I've always loved parentheticals ... 'course, he sometimes piles several in one sentence and occasionally changes his mind about a metaphor midway thru -- the church spire is like a pillow, no wait, the sky is like a pillow upon which the church spire has been laid, yeah that's it.

And I just got to the end of five pages waxing ecstatic about the church spire in the village where his family would spend summers when our hero was a boy. Once I get started I find myself reading several pages because it takes that long to get to a natural stopping place. It can also be kind of exhausting. It's like prose poetry in that you're not reading for the story but for the fun of the writing.

I don't know whether to tell you not to bother, cuz you don't just read sf & horror. I'll be reading Proust for a long time, I think ... and it looks like I'll be having fun (he can be quite droll). I haven't read far enough to have a recommendation but if I come upon a relatively self-contained chapter I could suggest it to you ... I have the feeling Proust is like a hologram; any section could stand in for the whole. But I am only 50 pages into the first 300 page volume. So, we'll see.