Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: My Year in Books

This year, I read thirty-nine books, according to goodreads. That's actually a little low, since I don't generally bother recording purely escapist fare (hence, it doesn't include the handful of Lawrence Block novels I read) or non-fiction (which eliminates Francis Spufford's extremely interesting Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense, which I need to reread to speak cogently about, and will). Also, no comics. Still, close enough! So let's go through and pick out the highs and lows.
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah (1921-22)

CK Scott Moncrieff entitled his original translation of Sodome et Gomorrhe Cities of the Plain, as which, yes, Sodom and Gomorrah ARE referred to in the King James Version, but COME ON, MAN. This is definitely his most pointless alteration—unless, of course, the “point” was to tone down as much as possible the whole gay thing, the frankness of which was certainly not typical for the time, and I'm going to need you to stop bellowing “THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH IS NOT ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY,” because like it or not, this is the “gay” volume, and Proust is very much using it in that long-discredited sense. And more: he has the idea that Sodom is associated with gay men and Gomorrah with lesbians, which (though I've never seen it before) is surely not original to Proust, even if it's even more atextual. Look, Biblical exegeses are not the point here. Let's move on, shall we?
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Monday, December 08, 2014

Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way (1920-21)

I was treating this book as sort of the make-or-break point. I had previously read the first two for a class as a college senior (without retaining much, naturally), so I knew on some level that I could do it. But could I handle a THIRD one?!? Also, because this one is the longest and the fifth and sixth are the shortest, we are now more or less exactly halfway through the whole. Whoa: we're halfway there. Whoa, whoa: living on a prayer. OKAY. Anyway, ain't no stopping me now.
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