Monday, September 24, 2012

Closing tabs

Very tired! Mondays are demanding; it is my preference to schedule it that way, but it leaves me somewhat flattened at the start of the week....

Saw a couple of plays at the end of last week, both quite enjoyable: Job, at the Flea (actually the Book of Job was one of two things I taught in Lit Hum that made me want to write some kind of adaptation, the other of course being The Bacchae - Richardson's Clarissa is a take on Job...); An Enemy of the People, in a new adaptation. 

Went to Philadelphia on Saturday to eat cake in honor of my niece's third birthday. 

Read and taught Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden and Madame Bovary.

Did a lot of exercise here and there (great running weather!) and read a few novels on the side: one more Peter James novel (it was very affordable and there are a lot of them, but I do not think I will read any more, they have a curious air of unreality despite being seemingly well researched); an excellent crime novel called The Eyes of Lira Kazan; the first half of Victor Lavalle's The Devil in Silver, which begins with a sequence that makes me wonder whether it is possible that Lavalle is as obsessed with Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels as I am (I will finish it later in the week when I'm less tired, but it's strangely flat in the writing, and it's not gripping me hard like his last novel did).  Now immersed in Arnaldur Indridason's Outrage, which I will finish reading later this evening once I detach from the computer.

During a quiet office hours this afternoon, I read a couple fascinating chapters in Andrew Solomon's Far from the Tree (I was tipped off that Nico features in the chapter on prodigies, and couldn't resist obtaining to read at my earliest convenience); interesting stuff, from a writer I much admire.  Another book I'm looking forward to rereading in its final version is my friend Marco Roth's The Scientists, which I couldn't put down when I saw it in manuscript.

Other links of interest:

Jessamyn West on how not to write about libraries.

Teju Cole on the trouble with Instagram  (includes immortal line "your pug wasn't born in 1979"!).

Charlie Jane Anders on the possibility that science fiction might bring back the epistolary novel.

Levi Stahl on what is possibly my most-favorite novel of all time.

1 comment:

  1. I'm about 100 pages into the new Victor LaValle, and I know what you mean about the language--but I'm beginning to adapt to it and find it working; with the couple of asides and judgments delivered in the narrator's own voice, I'm beginning to read it as if it's being told rather than written, which suddenly gives its cadence and range an explanation.

    Also, I thought of you of course as I started writing about The Fountain Overflows yesterday. Such a great book.