Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Phantoms in the brain

If you're interested, some of my thoughts on Richard Powers' novel The Echo Maker can be found over at Ed's place. It's one of those novels that makes me feel that not nearly a high enough percentage of my time is devoted to novel-writing, the novel really is almost the best way to explore a complex topic with intellectual and emotional heft--maybe the best way. The discussion itself was also very enjoyable, and Powers has responded to all of our comments in some very generous and thoughtful remarks that will be posted at the end of the week. It was great fun--I am having an insufficiency of novel-reading this semester (I mean, I'm reading lots of novels written in the eighteenth-century, and they are very delightful indeed--it is one of the great privileges of my job that I get to turn people on to these amazing books that they would quite likely otherwise never read at all, or not read at any rate in the immediate future--but reading eighteenth-century novels for teaching purposes, while delightful in its own way, does not satisfy the same urge that drives me to want to read--these are the ones most immediately awaiting my attention and sending out their alluring little "beep, beep, read me" signals which I am resolutely and virtuously ignoring--The Good Fairies of New York, Fragile Things and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million).

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