2019 Autumn: What Are You Reading as the Light Drifts Southward?

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Successor thread to: 2019 Sum-Sum-Summertime: What Are You Reading, My Good People?.

Last night I finished my second novel by Leonardo Sciascia, To Each His Own. It was a very wry Sicilian variation on the murder mystery genre that I found quite engaging. No one really wants to investigate the murder, because the central fact of Sicilian society is that whole layers of its life are submerged in secrecy and violence and each individual's safety depends on covering up that underground life under silence and polite pretense. Even the protagonist, a teacher, who solves the crime constantly tells himself he has no real interest in doing so beyond curiosity and would never dream of actively bringing the culprit to justice.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 22 September 2019 18:53 (one year ago) link

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

calstars, Sunday, 22 September 2019 18:56 (one year ago) link

hermann broch - the death of virgil

no lime tangier, Sunday, 22 September 2019 19:03 (one year ago) link

Reading all of 7 books in Gordon Korman's Bruno and Boots series for an article I'm writing. I don't expect that will mean anything to anyone outside of Canada.

Herman Woke (cryptosicko), Sunday, 22 September 2019 19:20 (one year ago) link

Reading The Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen. It's really not that good :( I never made it through Witz either, but it was better.

Frederik B, Sunday, 22 September 2019 19:23 (one year ago) link

As a Canadian kid in the 80s, I read a bunch of Korman's books. I remember writing a book report in 5th grade where I said he was my favorite writer. Looking him up now, I remember the book covers more than their contents.

wasdnuos (abanana), Sunday, 22 September 2019 21:00 (one year ago) link

Bought Virginia Woolf's 'To The Lighthouse' on a whim. I've no shame in admitting it's the first Woolf book I've read but.. It's not pretty. Those loooong loooong sentences, half-page sentences... It's nigh on unbearable. Every sentence is a labyrinth, sideways upon sideways. Was her editor asleep y/n or do I not *get it* and should I continue?

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 23 September 2019 20:30 (one year ago) link

Life’s too short to force yourself to complete a piece of entertainment that doesn’t grab you , is my opinion...

calstars, Monday, 23 September 2019 20:32 (one year ago) link

Very true! But she has such a reputation, one feels like a fool "not getting it"...? I just cannot get over the long, drawn out sentences. It must not be for me.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 23 September 2019 20:34 (one year ago) link

Vandermeer "Annihilation"
Boswell "Life of Johnson"

picked up a copy of Graves' "I, Claudius" from the free "street library" but idk it's a bit precious

Οὖτις, Monday, 23 September 2019 20:49 (one year ago) link

I had a hard time getting through To the Lighthouse as well, but the central few pages are absolutely incredible. It's really one of the few books where sticking with it pays off the most. But if you don't like it, you don't like it.

Frederik B, Monday, 23 September 2019 21:48 (one year ago) link

I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet but it's one of the hardest (ie. most annoying but 'there must be something here, somewhere') books I've ever read. I'll take your word for it, Fred!

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 23 September 2019 21:52 (one year ago) link

You'll know it when you see it :)

Frederik B, Monday, 23 September 2019 21:54 (one year ago) link

That gives me great hope in carrying on :)

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 23 September 2019 21:55 (one year ago) link

I have started Jane and Prudence, an early novel of Barbara Pym. I've no idea how it ranks in her canon, but it was available through my public library and I checked it out. So far it is competent, but nothing remarkable. There are some opportunities for understated comedy in her choice of characters and setting, but nothing resembling excitement is on the horizon.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 01:22 (one year ago) link

I couldn't disagree more about TO THE LIGHTHOUSE.

A magnificent masterpiece, a portrait of life, one of the greatest English works of art, in fact works of art period, that I know of from the last century.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 September 2019 09:54 (one year ago) link

Can I point out that the thread title appears to have a typo, unless I have misunderstood? Can this be fixed?

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 September 2019 09:58 (one year ago) link

Currently reading America by Kafka, after watching Straub-Huillet's Class Relations on MUBI

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 24 September 2019 10:00 (one year ago) link

Currently reading Andy Beckett's When the Lights Went Out, mainly provoked by endless conversations with my (currently Tory voting) old man along the lines of 'yes, but we don't want to go back to the 70s' when I reasonably point out to him that, actually, most of his principles are in line with Labour policy.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 13:00 (one year ago) link

Bought Virginia Woolf's 'To The Lighthouse' on a whim. I've no shame in admitting it's the first Woolf book I've read but.. It's not pretty. Those loooong loooong sentences, half-page sentences... It's nigh on unbearable. Every sentence is a labyrinth, sideways upon sideways. Was her editor asleep y/n or do I not *get it* and should I continue?

― Le Bateau Ivre,

This is weird, for among the (minor) complaints I've got about Woolf her sentence are not among them.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 13:02 (one year ago) link

also: what a coincidence. I'm reading Flush, her fictional biography about the Brownings' dog.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 13:02 (one year ago) link

*sentences xpost

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 13:02 (one year ago) link

thread title appears to have a typo

correct. (or should that be 'incorrect'?) meanwhile, any fix for that would need to be requested via the mod board.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 18:18 (one year ago) link

mrs dalloway is a better first woolf book than to the lighthouse, i think

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 24 September 2019 18:23 (one year ago) link

It's getting better! I'm finally easing into it now, after an unusually tough start.

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 24 September 2019 22:12 (one year ago) link

I finished "Sabbath's Theater". I'm not sure it was all that groundbreaking but it was well done. Roth has a lot of strengths as a writer that can cover over the occasional lack of inspiration. I could have done with fewer descriptions of sex but at least Roth can write dirty without embarrassing himself too badly, a minefield for many writers. For one thing he's quite fluent at switching registers from high to low, from the ivory tower to the street. He also always knows where he wants the book to go, the structure and pacing were sound. Although the book was written in the '90s, it didn't seem too terribly dated, in the sense that the things that were calculated to be offensive were still offensive. Not to give too much away, but during the course of the book, the aging lothario protagonist commits numerous counts of sexual harassment and piggish behavior. A good epigraph for the book would be Whitman's: "I believe in the flesh and the appetites ... The scent of these armpits is aroma finer than prayer". Is it a send-up of the mid-20th century school of dick-obsessed male novelists, or just a particularly extreme example? Hard to say whether it matters much either way.

o. nate, Wednesday, 25 September 2019 02:09 (one year ago) link

I'm almost halfway through THE GOLDEN BOWL and really going off it. It feels like a HOLLYOAKS plotline magnified to 540 pages through immense Impressionism, but with less realistic dialogue.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 25 September 2019 08:38 (one year ago) link

Less by by Andrew Sean Greer. I know next to nothing about this book, it was a birthday gift. Kawabata and Whitney Houston get namedropped within the first twenty or so pages tho so it seems good.

Also going through two Vandermeer anthologies: a fantasy one, which I'm reading by myself, and an anthology of "feminist speculative fiction", which I am reading out loud to my wife (Fizzles has broken the ILB taboo on mentioning this, I believe); latter is good but really stretching even the most generous definition of "speculative".

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 25 September 2019 10:17 (one year ago) link

I didn't dislike Less, but the scent of #sadliberalgay often proved suffocating.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 25 September 2019 13:13 (one year ago) link

I am happy to report that the understated comedy has arrived in Jane and Prudence and it is sufficiently amusing.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 25 September 2019 17:01 (one year ago) link

I had diminishing returns with Pym last summer. Reading Austen is like stepping into bright sunshine.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 25 September 2019 17:19 (one year ago) link

Few novelists could withstand a side-by-side comparison with Austen.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 25 September 2019 18:04 (one year ago) link

Collusion by Luke Harding
The Russian background to the Trump collusion . I heard most of the surface part of this when it was happening but wasn't fully aware of the backgrounds of people like Kisliak. This fills in more of the details.
& it was €1 in a charity shop locally at the start of this week so thought I'd grab it.

What You Need to Know about Economics by George Buckley
teach yourself type book on economics, like.

Stevolende, Thursday, 26 September 2019 16:01 (one year ago) link

For a break from James I started reading Chris Baldick, THE MODERN MOVEMENT - a big standard academic survey of 1910-1940, but opinionated enough to be a bit more interesting than the usual.

the pinefox, Friday, 27 September 2019 08:27 (one year ago) link

Has anyone read A Little Life? I'm on pg. 300 with a few hundred pages to go, and I struggle to explain my annoyance with it.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 27 September 2019 10:52 (one year ago) link

Yes. My minor issue was that a small clique of four friends all become fabulously successful in their own fields; my major issue was the ever-escalating torture porn.

The Pingularity (ledge), Friday, 27 September 2019 11:00 (one year ago) link

Having finished Jane and Prudence, last night I picked up Roderick Hudson, the first novel of Henry James. In its opening 50 pages it appears that James already has most of the pieces of his lifelong modus operandum in place: the fresh-faced American(s) coming grips with European sophistication, the mentor character and the mentored, with a side dish of ruminations on art and culture.

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 27 September 2019 17:32 (one year ago) link

I've started reading Rick Perlstein's Nixonland.

o. nate, Saturday, 28 September 2019 00:51 (one year ago) link

Aimless, it's not his first novel, but it's the first that counts. This novel has to us an unrepressed homoeroticism.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 September 2019 01:08 (one year ago) link

would roderick

mookieproof, Saturday, 28 September 2019 04:49 (one year ago) link

o nate I had so much fun reading Nixonland, it will be a good companion to the coming fall of crazy US politics

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Saturday, 28 September 2019 13:34 (one year ago) link

REBECCA

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Saturday, 28 September 2019 20:52 (one year ago) link

james's actual 1st novel is one seriously creepy piece of work, man grooming small child to be his perfect future wife.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 29 September 2019 04:09 (one year ago) link

I had to read Roderick Hudson at college and that put me off of James for most of my life. (Washington Square put me on again; Turn of the Screw then put me off, possibly permanently.)

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 29 September 2019 08:57 (one year ago) link

o nate I had so much fun reading Nixonland, it will be a good companion to the coming fall of crazy US politics

I'm enjoying it so far, though I don't know if my enthusiasm will be able to keep up for another 600 pages of day-by-day, play-by-play commentary on every election cycle in the '60s. I wouldn't mind perhaps slightly less detail.

o. nate, Monday, 30 September 2019 00:36 (eleven months ago) link

penelope fitzgerald

stoffle (||||||||), Monday, 30 September 2019 19:23 (eleven months ago) link

There are seven Bruno and Boots books now? I think last time I read them, there were only four. I always liked I Want to Go Home and Our Man Weston by GK.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:59 (eleven months ago) link

Yeah, the series kept going until 1995! The strain on the formula was starting to show somewhat on the later books in the series, but the very last one, The Joke’s On Us, is pretty funny, even going so far as to deal with the fact that our boys are aging out of their role as pranksters as a new generation of kids (specifically, Boot’s little brother) are on their way in.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 18:19 (eleven months ago) link

Just past halfway through Roderick Hudson. The most striking thing so far is the degree to which it minutely describes a culture of exquisite manners which was utterly snuffed out early in the 20th century. It also preserves a glimpse of the misshapen monsters hatched into that society by Byronic romanticism. Everyone is either repressed beneath a facade like an ornate snuffbox, or else flinging their emotional excrement about like angry monkeys. I am not sure how much of this effect was intended by James and how much is simply the product of my being the product of a society so unlike that which he observed.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 18:25 (eleven months ago) link

James doesn't miss a thing; his light irony is one of the delights of his early style.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 18:27 (eleven months ago) link

^truth bomb

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 29 November 2019 19:51 (ten months ago) link

i thought one of the jameses worked in a bookshop and slammed back multiple tomes per day

flopson, Friday, 29 November 2019 21:27 (ten months ago) link

He made a tiny bookshop replica once but don’t think he works in it.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 29 November 2019 22:39 (ten months ago) link

I did use to work in a bookshop, but not for a while. And having a 6yo daughter has actually slowed me down.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 30 November 2019 00:52 (nine months ago) link

reading percival everett's 'erasure' which is v. good and also specifically shits on a bookshop (and possibly me) in which i worked at the time in question

mookieproof, Saturday, 30 November 2019 02:31 (nine months ago) link

I'm loving Robert Forster's "Grant & I" so far. Tender and funny.

The World According To.... (Michael B), Saturday, 30 November 2019 10:05 (nine months ago) link

Agreed.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 30 November 2019 13:16 (nine months ago) link

Thirded, although I read it based on Alfred’s recommendation, so not sure if my vote will count.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 November 2019 15:56 (nine months ago) link

I finished Middle England and am now reading Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's On Death and Dying.

o. nate, Sunday, 1 December 2019 01:42 (nine months ago) link

Dasa Drndic. Started with Doppleganger, now 100 pages into Belladonna. She is really something, this is what I want from books

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 1 December 2019 03:38 (nine months ago) link

Erasure is so much fun.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 1 December 2019 11:23 (nine months ago) link

"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" rn

The World According To.... (Michael B), Monday, 2 December 2019 14:41 (nine months ago) link

just finished Gut by Giulia Enders, liked it a lot.

now alternating between Raymond E Feist Magician whilst at home, and Eric Ambler Epitaph for a Spy whilst at work.

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 4 December 2019 17:41 (nine months ago) link

I read Val McDermid's A Darker Domain which I picked out from this year's Harper Perennial Olive paperbacks (the theme this year is thrillers, striking red and black covers), didn't really think much of it honestly, not inclined to seek out more of her work in covers not designed to entrance bookstore-haunting hipsters. Going to finally read Ancillary Mercy now

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Wednesday, 4 December 2019 17:45 (nine months ago) link

ERASURE is an extraordinary book for sure - so many things going on in it.

I reread E.M. Forster's story 'The Obelisk'. Also extraordinary in its own little way!

the pinefox, Thursday, 5 December 2019 08:31 (nine months ago) link

still weaving through Machen, but picked up a copy of Priest's "Inverted World" (which I've been meaning to re-read for several years now) over the holiday.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 5 December 2019 16:48 (nine months ago) link

don’t you mean for many miles now?

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 5 December 2019 16:50 (nine months ago) link

heh

Οὖτις, Thursday, 5 December 2019 16:59 (nine months ago) link

My aunt wrote a powerful book about her experience of getting attacked with a hammer and coping with traumatic brain injuries. Beautifully-written and had me tearing up all the way through.

I'm also reading lots of hard sci-fi :)

DJI, Thursday, 5 December 2019 20:46 (nine months ago) link

wow

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 5 December 2019 20:49 (nine months ago) link

Late to the Simon Rich party. The Last Girlfriend on Earth, Ant Farm down. Free-Range Chickens, Hits & Misses, Spoiled Brats up soon, followed by whatever else I can find at the library, incl. both seasons of "Man Seeking Woman".

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Thursday, 5 December 2019 21:46 (nine months ago) link

Elizabeth Von Arnim's The Caravaners and the Charles Barr book on Ealing.

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 7 December 2019 11:58 (nine months ago) link

I've bailed (temporarily, I think) from the Emerson biography. It's an extraordinarily immersive book but I feel a bit beleaguered - especially as I don't have the time to read anything else. I'm so unmoored I have no idea what to read next.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Saturday, 7 December 2019 12:14 (nine months ago) link

Jane Urquhart, Sanctuary Line

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Saturday, 7 December 2019 15:46 (nine months ago) link

Shoot For the Moon, James Donovan’s book about the early years of manned spaceflight (leading up to the moon landing). Plenty of ground covered, much of it familiar to me through years of reading up on the space race and films/documentaries such as The Right Stuff and First Man and Apollo 11. Really good, and thrilling stuff. It’s 400-something pages long so some events are moved past somewhat swiftly but as a portrait of the interpersonal politics involving the main players and how the roles of astronauts shifted over time during the Mercury 7 era from being “spam in a can” to using their test pilot skills is of particular interest. I don’t know if it’s the definitive book on the subject as Michael Collins suggests in the main pull quote but it’s excellent. I always get bummed out reading about Gus Grissom, he seemed like a true dude.

omar little, Saturday, 7 December 2019 17:21 (nine months ago) link

picked up a copy of Priest's "Inverted World" (which I've been meaning to re-read for several years now) over the holiday.

― Οὖτις, Thursday, December 5, 2019 11:48 AM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

one of the best books I’ve ever been tipped off to on here

flopson, Saturday, 7 December 2019 21:14 (nine months ago) link

currently reading elif batuman ‘the possessed’ about doing a phd in Russian literature. making me crave Russian lit. also curious about other novels/memoirs about graduate school

flopson, Saturday, 7 December 2019 21:15 (nine months ago) link

hermann broch - the death of virgil

two months & a couple of weeks later, finally finished this (found myself having to put it aside after every twenty or so pages till the final section which really needed to be read in one ongoing flow), can't say i picked up on the underlying symphonic structure mentioned in arendt's intro but the arrival in brundisium and nightmarish journey to his last abode have stuck in my mind, also the night scene with the trio of vagabonds who almost seemed to have dropped in from an absurdist drama. now for the sleepwalkers.

no lime tangier, Sunday, 8 December 2019 06:09 (nine months ago) link

Rereading Wolf Hall, because he, Cromwell, haunts my imagination

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Sunday, 8 December 2019 07:04 (nine months ago) link

He, Cromwell !

the pinefox, Sunday, 8 December 2019 09:18 (nine months ago) link

I'm pulling up to the end of 1814 at around 1100 pp. into Henry Adams's history. I confess, I had no idea just how utterly bolloxed up the entire government of the USA was during that time or how close the union came to dissolving under the stress of the War of 1812, only this time the strong secessionist sentiment was from New England. Only 250 more pages to go!

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 8 December 2019 19:05 (nine months ago) link

Keeping track of which positions Monroe held got confusing too.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 8 December 2019 19:11 (nine months ago) link

Agatha Christie: THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD.

the pinefox, Monday, 9 December 2019 12:39 (nine months ago) link

Her only vaguely worthwhile book, and she nicked the central idea from Chekhov.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 02:18 (nine months ago) link

Geoff Dyer's Zona, about Stalker. I liked his jazz book and the novel Jeff In Venice but this was sort of a letdown. It has a slapdash quality that I think is meant to be charming but for stretches feels just lazy/hurried with meh digressions, and 200+ pp but he makes scant mention of Roadside Picnic.

In the early going that he boasts of not having seen The Wizard of Oz and claims he never will, which is just...weird? Later he claims that Stalker's wife turns into something "hideous" at the end of the film when she lights a cigarette, and professes to "hate all gestures associated with finding, lighting, and smoking a cigarette," which I can't begin to understand. I'm hard pressed offhand to think of a better set of gestures!

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 03:26 (nine months ago) link

going to read 'brothers karamazov' over my winter break; picked it up at the bookstore today. reading 'the possessed' got me insanely pumped for it lol. got the pever & volokhonsky translation bc it was 3$ cheaper and 300 pages shorter than the david mcduff one, but was pleased to read some pretty nice reviews of it ex post

flopson, Wednesday, 11 December 2019 07:25 (nine months ago) link

The Caravaners is very good - comedic novel about a militaristic Prussian gentleman and his wife traveling through the UK being baffled. Quite different in tone from the other Van Arnim I've read, which was more of an E.M. Forster thing.

Also racing through The Way Of All Flesh again for a podcast.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 11 December 2019 11:32 (nine months ago) link

finished epitaph for a spy, not sure if i've ever read a novel with such a wholly useless/unimpressive protagonist. in the other Ambler's i've read the main character while completely out of their depth at least had a little something about themselves, in epitaph there's nothing, just totally ineffectual and hopeless. v relatable tbh.

oscar bravo, Wednesday, 11 December 2019 17:03 (nine months ago) link

In the early going that he boasts of not having seen The Wizard of Oz and claims he never will, which is just...weird?

― Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, December 11, 2019 3:26 AM (eighteen hours ago)

i read dyer's book on d.h. lawrence a long time ago. it was good -- really enjoyable -- but i remember him spending a weird amount of time talking about all of the lawrence books he wasn't going to bother to read.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 11 December 2019 22:17 (nine months ago) link

new thraed Poetry uncovered, Fiction you never saw, All new writing delivered, Courtesy WINTER: 2019 reading thread

Fizzles, Saturday, 14 December 2019 08:46 (nine months ago) link

Last night I started my first ever Eric Ambler novel, Judgment on Deltchev. It's set in the immediate post-WWII period in an unnamed Balkan country that seems loosely modeled on Bulgaria, but really is generic.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 14 December 2019 17:02 (nine months ago) link

The last of my autumn reading:

Ursula LeGuin - The Left Hand of Darkness
Alicia Kopf - Brother in Ice
Halldor Laxness - The Fish Can Sing

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 18 December 2019 16:41 (nine months ago) link

Just finished Brent Weeks The Way of Shadows and am onto the sequel Shadow's Edge. Also about a quarter into Mary Shelley's Frankenstein which is a lot more florid than I was expecting.

oscar bravo, Friday, 27 December 2019 16:45 (nine months ago) link

three months pass...

I liked Ali Smith’s Autumn, with its decentering of time and focus on Pauline Boty, a fantastic artist

Dan S, Sunday, 26 April 2020 02:54 (five months ago) link

It's been fascinating reading Ali Smith doing this hyper-topical litfic thing - the last in the quartet is due out in July and goodness knows how she's going to keep it feeling up-to-date, it feels like we've had at least three very distinct eras in the UK in the last six months.

Tim, Sunday, 26 April 2020 09:12 (five months ago) link

(On the subject of Pauline Boty, UK people might like to watch Ken Russell's 60s doc on four british pop artists which is up on player for now: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00drs8y/monitor-pop-goes-the-easel but you should be warned that there is Peter Blake content.)

Tim, Sunday, 26 April 2020 09:15 (five months ago) link

Gerard Manley Hopkins - Poems and Prose
Gottfried Benn - Poems and Prose

Benn's essays make him out to be just an appalling individual: the man who keeps quiet and goes about his work, disregarding what is going on outside in the way he waves away at Nazism (not quite working outright with the regime but just keeping his head down the whole time), and finding the eugenicism more than a bit ok. Writes away after all is said and done as if nothing has happened, collecting prizes and acclaim.

Then I turned to his poems and they are often great. The usual riddle.

The Hopkins poems and journals are a marvel tho'. Nature and god find an intensity in a set of poems that were written by this...jesuit priest? No bohemians around. The Geoffrey Hill lecture on the one poem (Monumentality and bidding) is a good companion to read this with.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 26 April 2020 14:40 (five months ago) link

we have Spring 2020 'What Are You Reading?' thread now. we're right up with times:

"And sport no more seen / On the darkening green" -- What are you reading SPRING 2020?

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 26 April 2020 16:56 (five months ago) link

Ah thanks didn't read the title

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 26 April 2020 19:45 (five months ago) link

lock thread...

koogs, Sunday, 26 April 2020 20:10 (five months ago) link


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