Monday, January 02, 2012

Morningside redux

Had a good couple of hours of work just now; have been revising steadily every day, and the first new take on the first section of the novel is starting to come together pretty well.  New stuff still to write, especially re: the 'missing game' whose real importance seems to have taken a long time to dawn on me. 

I remain optimistic that if I can really sort things out properly for the long opening section (which represents about a third of the book as it now stands), all my other revision choices will be pretty clear and easy...

Still can't believe the library's not open till Wednesday!  Fortunately I have been able to download nearly-free versions of Aristotle's Poetics and The Birth of Tragedy for my Kindle, with intention of rereading both this evening.  (One resolution for this revision is to make more obvious things that might have been clear to me as I was writing but won't necessarily have been clear to the reader; more generally, I'm just trying to pull at the threads of different thematic connections and make things feel more like a really suspenseful culminating sensible whole.) 

I am also meaning to reread Madeleine L'Engle's two quite different novels of Morningside Heights; A Severed Wasp is waiting for me at the Butler circulation desk, even if I can't get it quite yet, and I've just Amazoned myself a copy of The Young Unicorns as it doesn't seem to exist in the BorrowDirect consortium's collections (young-adult collecting is more spotty than adult fiction).

Still feeling pretty off-kilter because of my college friend's death.  Desperate situations call for desperate remedies: I have finally embarked upon the official George R. R. Martin reread!  When the latest installment came out this summer, I thought that it was long enough since I'd read the previous four that I might want to start over again at the beginning.  Put the first one on my Kindle (having long since given away the mass-market paperbacks I read years ago) and have been saving it for a rainy day.  I'm now about three quarters of the way through the first volume, A Game of Thrones, and finding it truly immersive.  The writing is often slightly embarrassing, but it's amazing storytelling, especially in the opening sequence; it is a good way for me to make sure that this week will pass by in a flash!

(Also still grumpy due to lingering cold.  Had to cancel a 5-6-mile run scheduled with a friend for this afternoon, it seemed too strenuous, but I might try for an easy half an hour on my own instead, with commitment to turn around and go home if lungs don't feel adequate to the task.)


  1. I too enjoyed the Game of Thrones and now must place the next volume on my "to read" list.

    If you have not already read this I highly recommend - I found it facinating.

    Happy New Year Jenny!

  2. Jenny,
    You and I started George R. R. Martin on pretty much the same day! I was home sick a couple of days just after new year's, and I burned through the first one in just over two days, read the second one on a work trip to London last week, and this week am forcing myself to occasionally set the third one down so I can practice the piano. I'd stayed away from them even as my wife read them twice, because she kept being unsure whether she should wholeheartedly recommend them to me--she was worried I'd hate his prose--and I'm so glad I finally dove in. There's so much about Martin's world, characters, and overall narrative approach and plotting that astonish me. I suspect I'll barrel straight through number 5 and join the ranks of the impatiently waiting.

    {On an unrelated note: the London trip netted a beautiful edition, published by Slightly Foxed, of Dodie Smith's utterly charming memoir of her Edwardian childhood, Look Back with Love. If you've not read it, you should look into it; it reminded me at times of The Fountain Overflows, at others of a more urban Lark Rise to Candleford, and it was entirely irresistible.