Thursday, June 11, 2009

Books Do Furnish A Room (or two)

Am I fucking-well insane?

More about World LightMore about FactotumMore about Some of Your BloodMore about The DirectorMore about The Decisive MomentMore about MiddlesexMore about Voltaire in ExileMore about The Jesuit and the SkullMore about The Sun and Moon CorruptedMore about Here Is Where We MeetMore about HothouseMore about The Notebook the Proof the Third LieMore about Between The Monster And The SaintMore about Scenes from a RevolutionMore about The Inverted WorldMore about The American Woman in the Chinese HatMore about Galileo Antichrist


The Laxness: mentioned by William T Vollman in his excellent afterword to the new edition of "Journey To The End Of The Night" as being closest to Celine's, for want of a better word, style. I resisted buying the new edition… Mannheim translates… Do'h, going to have to go back tomorrow… Celine - Martin Amis and Clive James can't get past the Bagatelles, which apparently is the politically correct stance these days. Jeez, it's not like Celine DENIED the Holocaust… He just sort of wanted it to happen faster, and to throw everyone else in for good measure.

The Bukowski: not actually the same cover as my edition, but I hadn't read it before. Matt Dillon's movie was excellent, much better than Mickey Rourke's impersonation of W.C Fields in Barfly.

The Sturgeon: how can you go past the guy who a) was the model for Kilgore Trout and b) created Sturgeon's Rule - *90% of everything is crap*.

The Ahndoril: I enjoyed a book about James Whale a few years ago, why shouldn't I enjoy this "novel" about Bergman?

The Lehrer: brain stuff, love it. Or I neurotransmit synaptically in an electric field that I do.

The Eugenidies: just finished 'The Virgin Suicides' last month. What a beautiful book. This guy is a master. Seven years between books. He's serious, we should be serious about him. People like Philip Roth who can pump out a novel in an afternoon, they might be OK but artistically they can fuck off, I haven't got the time for mere story-tellers.

The Davidson: saw a TV program about Voltaire once that said his wife kept him prisoner in his last days… wonder if that is confirmed here.

The Aczel: this guy wrote the book on Cantor that I listened to on the bus to Genting Highlands. There is also a traditional family Christmas joke about Tryhard du Charlatan that only I get.

The Ball: looked intriguing, science writer tries novel writing. Perpetual motion machines and Maxwell's field equations slash demon, reminds me of 'The Crying of Lot 49.' The scenes in the science magazine office and the nutters they have to deal with are obviously close to real life.

The Berger: started 'G' many moons ago, never finished, maybe I lost it. Maybe it's at my sister's place? My books in Australia, everywhere.

The Aldiss: Brian supported Anna Kavan in the '60's, the drug addicted slipstream (unclassifiable) writer I was reading a month or two ago. Brian is a bit of a wanker by all accounts, but whatever, the opening set-up scene is interesting.

The Agota Kristof: love the name! A quick glance to the blurbs inside - "There is enough kinky sex, perverse violence and general weirdness to match the best of Henry Miller, Jean Genet and Jerzy Kozinski." What, I am going to put it back on the shelf after reading that?

The Holloway: mentioned it the other day. I disagree with this ex Archbishop of Scotland, now "post religionist" who has an almost gnostic belief in evil as a reality - but then a character in the Ball novel (above) said: "It ('Paradise Lost') made me see that religion isn't about God. It's about man. Man and the devil, perhaps." Holloway I think pretty much goes with along with Michael Palin's summation at the end of 'The Meaning Of Life.' Just be nice sort of thing, plus go to church if you want. However, while people do evil things, I'd just temper it to point that not ALL people are capable of evil as he seems to imply (I haven’t finished it yet). He quotes some pretty pessimistic people - Zimbardo, John Gray…

The Harris: huh? Ryu Murakami? That's the wrong cover image! Try Amazon to see what I've actually linked to... Anyway, movie books… sometime good, sometimes crap. Got this for the 'Bonnie And Clyde' and 'The Graduate' insider gossip. E@L you beeaatch!

The Priest: 'The Prestige' was a terrific book, ambiguous and spooky - the two key elements which the movie failed to capture. I'm hoping this earlier S-F effort will entertain as well.

[Oops, these added after first posting... and then seeing two books still sitting there...]

The Maso: I have quite a few English experimental writers, but apart from Kathy Acker, not a lot of American ones. I have one book of Maso's essays -'Break Every Rule' - which I bought for the title alone.

The White: Galileo was actually in trouble for his work on "potential" infinity and "actual" infinity. Only God could be ACTUALLY infinite, by definition you see. Throw another Bruno on the fire Cardinal Biggles!


I ask again, why with most of the novels I choose does say "no-one else has this on their shelf?" Why? Because I have no life. Books I have. Life, no.


Approximate Quote Of The Day, especially for E@L

"Worship knowledge and you will always feel stupid." (or words to that effect.) David Foster Wallace.



Spike said...

Didja know that with the movie "Barfly," the title was actually an adjective and not a noun.

expat@large said...

Spike; Indeedly.

savannah said...

i'm sorry, i have to go back and read this lost me to laughter @Tryhard du Charlatan xoxox

(Teilhard de Chardin, right?)
(or am i a complete idiot?)
(don't answer the last question.)

expat@large said...

Sav: OK, so now TWO people get it.

You'll have to pop over to Geelong for Xmas dinner. Could be fun. I am giving that book to the person who brought up de Chardin in conversation. I nearly choked on a turkey bone. And I thought *I* was a pretentious twat! My family. I kid you not...

expat@large said...

Actually Spike, I think we've done that routine before.

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