I went downtown Wednesday afternoon to work out at the Y. I haven’t been in about a month. Every time I’ve stretched and exercised lately I’ve ended up with a headache so I’ve been rationing my exercise pretty carefully. Shorter stretches, longer recovery periods. Last two strong stretches did not result in headaches so at last I was able to muster some enthusiasm for a trip to the gym.
After an easy yoga and weights session I stopped at a café for a sandwich and coffee and read the latest East Bay Express, the feature article being about a real estate writer who got sued for saying allegedly defamatory things about one of those inspirational get-rich-quick real estate gurus. Turns out the critical things our writer was saying was nothing compared to what he uncovered during the lawsuit – a hit and run that left its victim brain-damaged, a robbery that resulted in prison time, an affair with an employee that had him admitting paternity of her child. Guru time!
Half Price Books had a couple carts loaded with clearance literature so I picked up Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of Dawn, Russell Edson’s The Song of Percival Peacock, Sylvia Molloy’s Certificate of Absence, and the 2006 issue of New American Writing, edited by Paul Hoover & Maxine Chernoff.
The Mishima is “the third novel in The Sea of Fertility tetralogy” (that’s one more than a trilogy). I know I have the first two. I didn’t think I had this one, anyway it was 50c. And I’m pretty certain I don’t have the fourth. Years ago I read Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea and thought it interesting and intense, plus Mishima’s life is its own kind of interesting. I’ve enjoyed Russell Edson’s prose poems. This is the first time I’ve seen anything under his name promoted as a novel. I don’t know Sylvia Molloy at all but the book’s from the University of Texas Press which pushes it as an Important Work of Latin American Literature (Molloy is Argentinian) and I would like to be well-read in Latin American literature so for a dollar I figured I could throw it on the growing pile. I have a few issues of New American Writing but none recent. Time I bought another, especially if I read it through. As I’ve said before I am buying (and actually reading) literary magazines again. I like the idea of adding them to the paperbacks collection at Claremont after. I’ve gotta bag up a bunch of ten and fifteen year old lit mags that I bought new, donate them to the Friends group or something.