There’s a fascinating blog-post on The Guardian by Andrew Gallix (surely one of our favourite bloggers in the blogosphere) on the subject of unread books. For those who haven’t the will to read it, however, Obooki here provides a precis:
[A]s the Old Testament book Ecclesiastes prophesied … Hannah Arendt once wondered if … Walter Benjamin famously described … as Kierkegaard observed … according to Ulises Carrión …. Michael Gibbs […] points out … [t]his very same faith prompts Borges to claim … and George Steiner to sense … for Maurice Blanchot … TS Eliot draws the conclusion … chimes with Stéphane Mallarmé’s endeavour … very much influenced by Hegel, according to whom … [which] is why the young Beckett’s ambition was … for the likes of Mallarmé and Blanchot … [to which] David Huntsperger gives an interesting contemporary twist …
Elsewhere, Hilary Mantel abuses
Obooki had an odd artistic week-end, and here relates its failures:
- The novel by Poor Things by Alasdair Gray. Gray, who portrays himself as something of a literary pariah, which he once was perhaps (back in the days of Lanark – I’ve never read it – and 1982, Janine – I have) but now, having no self-respect, writes mostly worthless trash, here writes a version of Frankenstein – crossed perhaps a little with Wuthering Heights – which turns out incredibly dull and uninteresting. Obooki managed 60 pages. This is the third book in a row of Gray which has left Obooki deeply disappointed. We shall read Lanark now and no more.
- Episode One of the (new) series of Battlestar Galactica. Obooki was persuaded by “sci-fi enthusiasts” that this was perhaps the greatest series of sci-fi ever. It wasn’t. Indeed, Obooki wouldn’t even deign to classify it as sci-fi (it’s space opera, if anything is). Perhaps recalling the Americans inability to get over Pearl Harbor, the Cylons (robots who we’ve created but who – get this – want to kill us), completely out of the blue, launch an unexpected and devastating raid on various human home-worlds, destroying most of their fleet, to which the humans respond in a remarkable American manner, even at one point swearing in a president. Obooki decided he didn’t need to see the rest of the series since he already knew what happened and how tedious it was.
- Which, as it happens, wasn’t as laughably bad as a sci-fi film called Equilibrium, which Obooki watched only the first five minutes of, which posited a world which, in order to curb human emotion, had banned art: cue the police raiding a squat in which people were sitting about with some paintings, killing them all in a Matrix-esque manner and then torching the Mona Lisa.