Current Reading – Dec 2010

A change of theme, and a valiant attempt at audience participation.

I thought, rather than mention what I’d read at the end of each month, I might stick up a list of what I’m reading on the left-hand menu, a sticky-post such as this one for each month, and then people can comment if they want on the books as I’m reading them (so long as they don’t give away plot points – which makes me very angry, even though I’m not overly interested in plots). Anyway, we’ll see if it gets anywhere.

Rather than put up all the books I’m currently reading, which would probably amount to around 100 these days, I’m just going to put up ones I think I’ll finish within the current month.

I might put up observations as I go along, too.


19 thoughts on “Current Reading – Dec 2010

  1. you know very well we’ve never read the books you’re reading, let alone heard of them. and laszlo for the obooki, only because my boss’s name is laszlo. it would be cooler if Krasznahorkai was competing against Krzhizhanovsky.

  2. Ah, there you are, ElCal. I was beginning to think you’d disappeared (as apparently had my spam filter). I can’t believe people haven’t read Vicente Blasco Ibáñez and Régis Jauffret; it would be most unlike the English-speaking public.

    To be honest, László Krasznahorkai is a shoe-in for the Obooki Prize; – I’d put my money on it, if I were you. The only way he won’t win, is if I don’t finish it in time.

  3. isn’t that how last year’s shoe-in lost?

    yes, i’ve been working a little too hard lately, trying to get back to my blog reading.

  4. No, I seem to remember Cavazzoni won again precisely because I managed to finish him before year-end (it was only a few days). I think Krasznahorkai will win for the same reason: that I feel the others are unworthy, and I need to finish him so I can have a worthy winner. I’ll say now that I think he’s the best living writer I’ve come across (though possibly I’ll change my opinion tomorrow).

  5. What, have you given up on The Canal? I’m on page 45 and can’t decide if it’s the best Diary Of A Nobody pastiche I’ve ever read or total rubbish.

    ‘A discarded beer can floated past… A lone swan avoided it, paying it no attention whatsoever.’

    But if it avoided it, it must have been…

    ‘I hoped that my crumbling riposte the previous week hadn’t alarmed her.’

    Watch out! That riposte is crumbling!

  6. Lee should take care that his crumbling riposte is not met with her sharpened retort. She may throw a flying buttress at him.

  7. OK, now I get it. It wouldn’t accept my comment while I had the ‘Website URL’ line filled in. A bug?

    Anyway, congrats on your new ‘UFO Conspiracy’ blog-look…

  8. Hmm, that’s seriously problematic. It seems not to work if you have a Website URL with a “.” in it – which I’m guessing is every valid website URL in existence.

  9. MM: Surely Rourke is only exaggerating the swan’s attitude to emphasise its haughtiness – it did really notice the can, but is “pretending” it didn’t; – and if riposte’s can “crush”, I’m sure they can “crumble”. 😉

    I don’t know – I’ll get around to it sometime; I started it, and I really was genuinely wanting to like it; – but life’s too short, and there are other books to read.

  10. If I’m remembering correctly (without googlecheating) Vicente Blasco Ibáñez wrote at least 2 books that (I imagine) were enormous successes: ‘Blood and Sand’ and ‘The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse’. Both were hugely popular films for Rudolf Valentino (and others–I think they were both filmed a number of times).

    I have to admit, I’ve never read him myself and only know him through SJ Perelman’s wonderfully funny mockery of both films.

  11. Yes, I imagine you are right. “The Four Horsemen” certainly seems his most famous work. He looks to be one of those writers who was quite famous internationally in about the 20s/30s, but not since – i.e. all the editions of his books you’ll find come from back then.

    He’s a naturalistic writer – this one’s about the lives of fishermen in Valencia. I’d say he was probably quite influenced by Zola.

  12. Not completely satisfied by Mrs M’s snigger, I had to share this classic Rourkism:

    ‘The toe immediately next to her big toe was longer, this was concurrent on both feet.’

  13. Great style! – “immediately” and the “concurrent” – masterly! – Surely it won’t be long till I plunge back in to enjoy such gems myself (if, that is, there are things you can plunge into and find gems).

  14. Ruby and emerald ‘mines’ in Sri lanka are basically holes in the ground, so ‘diving in and finding gems’ is a definite possibility.

    This Rourke really can’t write, can he? ‘concurrent on both feet’, indeed….or is this meant to be the intentionally clumsy voice of the narrator (a sort of post-modern Pooter, by the sound of it)? I know that what I have read of Rourke’s on the Graun book blogs didn’t impress.

  15. I should do a post where I edit a particularly choice passage.

    “Definite possibility” sounds Oasis-influenced.

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