Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


End of June reads

More unevenness (and slower going) in the latter part of the month:

Stig Sæterbakken, Through the Night (Seán Kinsella) [dalkey] family ties unravelling, similar to Grunberg's Tirza though less blatant, though I had similar problems with it, as well as my not connecting with Nordic lit generally (sagas and their progeny excepted), which is itself similar to my not connecting with upper-middlebrow suburban lit (like Updike), as if Scandinavia were itself a big continental suburb ...
Harry Mathews, The Case of the Persevering Maltese [dalkey] essays of varying interest (to me, his personal perspective on Oulipo & Co. the most interesting).
Ricardo Piglia, Artificial Respiration (Daniel Balderston) [Duke] disappearances backgrounding in historical context (including intellectual & cultural [& the Europe hangover], which he teaches, here too thanks to translator's end-notes), taut and compelling: my book o'the month.
Brigid Brophy, In Transit [dalkey] riffey pomo gendrebender, first person singularity and duality.
Julien Gracq, Balcony in the Forest (Richard Howard) [Columbia] strategic withdrawal in the phoney war (I preferred The Opposing Shore, though not by much).
Renata Adler, Pitch Dark [nyrb] more tightly woven than Speedboat and I think suffers for it, though redeemed somewhat in last third.

A-and, even more throwaway lines (queries and theories, lifted from lit-chat):

Is a square meal an entree with four sides?
If language is the medium of thought, what's the angle of refraction?
Where does the time go, and are we there yet?
Now that the weather's broken, who's going to fix it?
... so I was like literally? you mean figuratively and he was like no I was using literally figuratively and so I was like literally? and he was like exactly! and I was like no, more like approximately and he was like literally? ...
To achieve serenity, skip the dip in serendipity.
Striving for wisdom may be vanity and a striving after wind, but whether vain or no, at least it's my own striving, and no one else's smells as sweet. And besides, the Preacher was an old fart.
It's common knowledge that our individual delusions are a rational and effective way of dealing with our mass delusions.
The curé is worse than the diocese.
if you think gaming the system is the system, the system's gaming you.
Inside every fat man are two thin men trying to get fed.
Those advising you to reinvent yourself are the ones holding the patents.
I tried to gaze long into an abyss but it turned out to be only a mirror.


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