Books Read / Films Seen – Jun 13

Book reading reaches a new low, with only 2 books finished in June (mini-reviews here):

  • The Garden Where the Brass Band Played, by Simon Vestdijk: which I read basically in two parts, the first half back in March/April, then the second half in a couple of days in June. The basic plot is a great favourite of mine: a man is in love with a woman who might reciprocate that love but for some reason left vague by the author remains frustratingly unattainable. Lots about classical music, and Carmen in particular, which perhaps was why I struggled for a bit in the middle: the book didn’t really for a time seem to be getting anywhere, but then it picked up again as the love theme reasserted itself.
  • Youth Without Youth, by Mircea Eliade: of which I had seen the film by Frances Ford Coppola previously, but which seemed for some reason much better than the film, even though perhaps it’s little different. For a book that’s less the 200 pages, it’s not really very compact: it has no Aristotlean unity, and drags on in the second part through unconnected episodes (increasingly of a religious character).

I saw quite a lot of films again, mostly in the last few days of June. (Possibly I saw more films than this too, I haven’t been keeping such a good record).

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4 thoughts on “Books Read / Films Seen – Jun 13

  1. I had a reading month like yours, so I can relate (or maybe I finished a couple more but just didn’t review them–who can keep track of these things?). Still enjoying the Gadda? By the way, I continue to envy your film watching these days; both the quality and the quantity have been down for me this year, but I see you’ve watched many that I’d like to watch again someday. And you rated that one movie a zero–classic!

  2. I’m already having a much better month this month: I’ve read Ibsen’s Ghosts, and almost finished a few other things. Perhaps this will be the bumper month I’m always expecting to occur.

    Yes, still enjoying Gadda. It reminds me of one of those Dario Argento psychopathic killer films, but written by an Italian Onetti/Faulkner.

    I watch too many Hollywood films these days. I need to get back to watching more foreign stuff.

  3. I had a surprisingly literary day in the town of Cascais, south of Lisbon, last week, where, in addition to finding an exhibition about Pessoa, I also spotted a blue plaque dedicated to Eliade.

    My July reading is shot to hell however.

  4. The Portuguese are always celebrating Pessoa. In a film I watched last week, a man read out a Pessoa poem, the one about keeping sheep.

    Eliade certainly got around, as people tend to in exile.

    My July reading, on the other hand, is going well so far.

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