stuff I read

The Western Canon and Then We Came to the End

I finished Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon over the weekend. Took me quite a while because it was pretty dense; not dense in the crazy-philosophical-theory sense, but dense in that Bloom quotes from a number of different works and you have to sort through the quotes and the thoughts to get anything out of it. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I had actually read all of the pieces Bloom described. I’ve read only half (maybe, probably less than that) so chapters on Ibsen, Goethe, and Latin American writers kind of went past me. I started Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human and it will go much faster because I’ve read most of Will the Shake’s plays.

I also finished Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (UI alum before he went to Irvine for his MFA). A really great book that observes the characters from the point of the corporate “we” (sort of like the royal “we”) but doesn’t distance the reader from the characters. You really start to care about all of them, including the crazy ones, so once you get used to the mode of storytelling the novel just flies. Props also to Joshua for winning the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers 2007 Fiction and also the Hemingway/PEN award.

Current book-in-progress: Beloved, Vilette, and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Current knitted item: The tan neck warmer is proving a pain because I’m having trouble finding the correct sizing (I’m looking for a men’s turtleneck sweater – none exist in my pattern books because I never knit for men, or haven’t has yet)
Current movie obsession: Network television is back (CSI: Miami is new for two nights in a row!) so my movies are suffering
Current iTunes loop: My order from BN came (as well as a BN Music store sale) so I’ve got plenty of new things to listen to – Sunday in the Park with George, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sweeny Todd (movie soundtrack – Johnny Depp, yowza!), and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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outrage and disgust · prayer

Deep thought for the day

If you are up shit creek, is it necessary to kill your entire family?

Granted, the autopsy will tell whether or not the father is the charred body in the family’s van but if that’s not the father and if the evidence doesn’t point toward him as the murderer of his wife and four children I will be very, VERY surprised.

I don’t particularly care if your life has totally gone to pot, that you’ve been indicted for embezzling half a million dollars from the bank (of which you are the vice-president), that you’re probably going to jail because you admitted to the police that part of that money went toward a serious coke habit. I really don’t. If you want to skip out on the charges and kill yourself, be my guest. Just don’t take anyone else with you.

Here’s a little prayer hoping that the children’s deaths were quick and that they didn’t realize what was going on.

Current book-in-progress: Beloved (for LbW BNBC April), Then We Came to the End (gotta support the Iowa alum), Birdsong (for our in-store group), Villette (also for BNBC April, just not my group), and whatever else I find
Current knitted item: My first commission – a tan neck warmer for a co-worker’s partner
Current movie obsession: I just finished Once – a great little movie, very moving and sweet, I might like the music better (the soundtrack is on order)
Current iTunes loop: It’s a tie – Sarah Barreilles’s Little Voice and the original cast recording of Rent