Updated books read here (and films seen). Lots of books, sixteen in last two months (and films too!) – and a few more almost finished – I’m so close now to finishing Ulysses – there’s like, 25 pages left, but it may take me another few months to summon up what little interest I still have (I feel another controversial review coming up here, to match Moby Dick, The Trial and Anna Karenina). Maybe I could read a page a day.
Some interesting writers this month whom I’m not going to review properly:
- John Hawkes, experimental American writer. I’d read The Lime Twig before, back in the first year of this blog, and wasn’t particularly taken by it (it’s set in England though, and had a kind of confused Brighton Rock vibe, as I remember) – but I’ve had a few of his books knocking about on my shelves all this time and thought I’d give another one (The Beetle Leg) a go. Hawkes’ method is to write his story in whatever way is least likely to make any sense to the reader.
- Tarjei Vesaas, Norwegian. Writer of incredibly beautiful simple poetic prose. You know, the kind of stuff that every literary writer is supposed to write (according to reviews) but which none of them actually do. Well, Vesaas actually does. But I wasn’t that much taken by the general direction the story headed in. I have a lot more Vesaas books lying about.
- Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, Spanish writer. Alfanhui is a very, very strange book, the world it’s set in almost Alice-like in its weird logic. Ferlosio wrote this and El Jarama (which I also have) in the 1950s, and then stopped writing for twenty years, before suddenly returning. I think only his first two books are available in English.
- Rudolf Hoess was the commandant at Auschwitz, and this is an expurgated text of his apology for his life written at Nuremberg. (I wasn’t sure how to score this one).
- Raymond Radiguet’s Count D’Orgel’s Ball is a lot better than his more easily available Devil in the Flesh.