Monday, March 28, 2016

Anna Kavan, Ice (1967)

In this mysterious novel, the unnamed narrator travels from place to place. For unclear reasons, he's pursuing a girl, known only as "the girl." There's also a mutable character, sometimes an ally but mostly an enemy, called "the warden," that gets in his way. As all this is going on, the world is being steadily taken over by snow and ice.
Read more »

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter (1920-22)

JEEZ! Did this really take me two full months to read? Where's the sense in that? Granted, it's twelve hundred pages, but as a comparison, note that it took me slightly less than three months to read In Search of Lost Time, which is about three times as long. So it should've taken me about a third as long to read, not two thirds. I suppose it's partially because I had this constant feeling, reading Proust, that, okay, I have to keep pushing onward, otherwise I'll never finish this. Whereas with a shorter book, even a very long one by most standards? That's just business as usual.
Read more »

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A fragmentary glimpse of an unknowable drama

Here we have a dollar bill on which someone has written "I would very much like 2 talk 2 U  U owe me that much."  I like to imagine that these crazy kids were able to work things out--but, of course, we will never know (though actually, there's no reason to automatically assume it's a romantic thing--sure, it seems probable, but it's far from certain).