Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Whenever you're on my mind

I've been distracted from posting the past few weeks because of my mom falling and fracturing her collarbone. It's amazing how much energy is required to take care of things from a distance. Fortunately I have two great brothers helping out.

I’m traveling this next week and I’m not sure how much internet access I’ll have. A list of what I’ve read (or I’m almost finished with) that I want to post on when I have a chance, so plan your reading or avoidance accordingly:
  • The movie Memórias Póstumas, the 2001 adaptation of Machado de Assis's The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas  
  • The Light and the Dark by Mikhail Shishkin 
  • The first two volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle 
  • Leonid Tsypkin’s The Bridge over the Neroch and Other Works  
  • The Astrologer by Scott G.F. Bailey 
  • Four essays in N.M. Penzer’s study Poison Damsels, and other essays in Folklore and Anthropology
  • Plays…I've read several I’d like to share, including István Örkény’s weird and wonderful Stevie in the Bloodbath: A Grotesque Play in Two Parts and a few plays from Václav Havel (centered on his character Vaněk). There’s several more plays but I don’t know that I could write them all up...
Not to mention some upcoming posts I hope to coincide with other bloggers:
  • Richard at Caravana de recuerdos and I are planning to post on Andrey Platonov’s The Foundation Pit in another week. Also, Richard will be hosting the group read of Gogol’s Dead Souls at the end of this month. 
  • Winstonsdad’s blog hosts Polish literature in June. I have well over 3,000 pages of Polish literature sitting on my shelf, mocking me, that I want to tackle… 


Richard said...

Sorry to hear about your mom, Dwight, but it's good to hear your brothers are helping out. What a horrible worry that might be otherwise.

On a less serious note, I'm looking forward to discussing "The Foundation Pit" with you and hope to post on the book early to middle next week. Over 3,000 pages of Polish lit? Wow, all I have is a couple of hundred pages of Gombrowicz--in Spanish! Cheers!

Dwight said...

Thanks Richard. Hoping to be back home by the end of the week and will start posting on "The Foundation Pit" then.

scott g.f.bailey said...

I'll be reading The Bridge over the Neroch and Other Works very soon. I am curious about the Knausgaard, but unsure just how curious.

I hope your mother recovers quickly.

Dwight said...

Thanks Scott. It was a very depressing trip but she's getting better, although she will only be able to recover so much due to her age.

I think you'll enjoy Tsypkin. The Knausgaard is good, but I can only take it in small doses at a time. I need to figure out why.

Changing subjects, I handed my copy of The Astrologer (which I finished on the trip) to my brother who loves reading mysteries and similar genres. I'm waiting to hear how he liked it!

scott g.f.bailey said...

I'll have to actually pick up a copy of the Knausgaard (I keep seeing it in stores) and look at the prose; my caution is based on blurbs I've read online. I am definitely looking forward to the Tsypkin.

I hope your brother likes my novel. It's not really a mystery or even an adventure novel or even a version of Shakespeare. Some readers wish it would settle down into more of a single genre. I sort of wish I'd read Quixote before I'd written it. That would've been fun.

Dwight said...

I loved all the Hamlet references, allusions, whatever...I think the "lack" of settling on a genre is a good thing.

Regarding Knausgaard, I never posted on the first volume, but here's an example I noted and liked: he begins telling about a New Year's Eve party on page 59 and the night doesn't end until page 140. So you've got 80 pages on one evening, right? Not exactly--he weaves in his early experiences with girls, his band, his grandparents, and the neighbors. At the end the reader is somewhat disappointed in the quick denouement of the evening, but it matches his own disappointment in the story.

scott g.f.bailey said...

Now that's my idea of a good narrative structure: time as soup.