Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


Beginning of June reads

Finished with The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013 (Glyn Maxwell ed) [FSG], for now, finding his post-Nobel efforts less consistent, perhaps taking license to extend himself or his readers with The Bounty but it feels as if he's trying too hard, before a return to form with Tiepolo's Hound (and The Prodigal a slighter falling off, and White Egrets slight return). Moving on to The Complete Poems of C├ęsar Vallejo (Clayton Eshleman) [UCal], (still filling substantial gaps in the canonical) ...

But my reading has been interspersed prosaically with other authors I've never before encountered, all worthwhile to varying degrees, many of whom I intend to encounter again:

Dimitri Verhulst, The Misfortunates (David Colmer) [Thomas Dunne/St Martin's] dusting off familial nostalgie de la boue, unconventionally (and Colmer collected another translation prize ...)
Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Monsieur (John Lambert) [dalkey] the effect of affectlessness (people, really) (I also have Running Away at hand).
Svetislav Basara, Chinese Letter (Ana Lucic) [dalkey] existential riffing with a killer ending, other moments too, but somewhat scattered (and more scattered scattering to come with The Cyclist Conspiracy).
Marek Hlasko, Killing the Second Dog (Tomasz Mircowicz) [New Vessel] con-job noir but beyond genre, actors speak louder than writers.
Hilda Hilst, With My Dog-Eyes (Adam Morris) [Melville House] assent into madness (I'm a sucker for poetry & mathematics); more madness to come with The Obscene Madame D (LARB review) (cf Crassus Agonicus via 3%).
Leonid Tsypkin, Summer in Baden-Baden (Roger & Angela Keys) [NDP] the puzzle of Dostoevsky, his fervors, and championing of the downtrodden except the Jews, who in Soviet times esteemed him despite or because (I suspect it colored Nabokov's judgment) and his place among other authors (seemingly unavoidable in Russian Lit; I've got Bitov's Pushkin House lined up next in this category, another delaying tactic on Onegin) (TQC review; Tsypkin's only other work, The Bridge over the Neroch and other stories, just became available from NDP , but it looks as though it's more a warm-up).
Andrej Blatnik, You Do Understand (Tamara M. Soban) [dalkey] short story short (3am review) (Yes I must check out Lydia Davis).
Marie Chaix, The Summer of the Elder Tree (Harry Mathews) [dalkey] love and separation, the ongoing story, with interruptions, and recommencements.

Also, got out to see Italian Futurism at the Guggenheim and Entartete Kunst at Neue Galerie ... wouldn't have bothered with the latter but for the former, or the former but for the venue (which I last visited for Kandinsky 5 years back), but the combination was irresistible (and will be there til 1Sep).

add: finally, WSJblog Q&A with my favorite publisher.


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