nirinia: (Default)
In more literary news, I am fascinated by the hypertex-like novel on Spotify, called 'Hurt'. Have a look at it in Spotify, Don't Let Go. From googling it, I see they call it an interactive audio novel. Which is not a bad name, I suppose. This just reinforces my feeling that literary theory is making a terrible mistake in not taking the internet into account.

Ian McEwan is in Norway in two weeks time, and Anette and I were devastated when we missed out on tickets to his reading at Litteraturhuset. But he's doing a reading/signing event at Tronsmo as well, so we'll get to see him after all. We're getting there at noon, armed to the teeth with coffee, books and sonnets so we can be productive while we wait. The Booker Longlist has been announced, I have not read any of them, but have heard of a good deal. There appears to be a lack of the usual outrage. 13 more books on the 'read!' list.

The Paris Review is always worth a quick read; poor Wilson writes wryly about discovering cynicism today. Have a look if only to pick out the allusions in the final paragraph – I love anyone who indulges in useless allusions, it means I can, too.
nirinia: (Default)
In more literary news, I am fascinated by the hypertex-like novel on Spotify, called 'Hurt'. Have a look at it in Spotify, Don't Let Go. From googling it, I see they call it an interactive audio novel. Which is not a bad name, I suppose. This just reinforces my feeling that literary theory is making a terrible mistake in not taking the internet into account.

Ian McEwan is in Norway in two weeks time, and Anette and I were devastated when we missed out on tickets to his reading at Litteraturhuset. But he's doing a reading/signing event at Tronsmo as well, so we'll get to see him after all. We're getting there at noon, armed to the teeth with coffee, books and sonnets so we can be productive while we wait. The Booker Longlist has been announced, I have not read any of them, but have heard of a good deal. There appears to be a lack of the usual outrage. 13 more books on the 'read!' list.

The Paris Review is always worth a quick read; poor Wilson writes wryly about discovering cynicism today. Have a look if only to pick out the allusions in the final paragraph – I love anyone who indulges in useless allusions, it means I can, too.
nirinia: (Default)
I ordered Nabokov's The Original of Laura on Sunday, and can't wait to open it. (If someone doesn't yet know, I'm a 'Nabokovian', sworn on pain of death). He is, I've reasoned, my adult Roald Dahl: articulate, wry, dark. My brother wasn't as taken by him, but we both gleefully read the passage where George gets rid of his grandmother to ours. Hold my hand, I just found an interview in Norwegian about his. Fan glee! The most charming broken Norwegian I have heard, a bit archaic. He has obviously forgotten a lot. But he speaks Norwegian! With a very peculiar accent, a mix of some Norwegian dialect I presume his mother had, and an English accent. 'Og så har jeg this tray in my lap', he is adorably bad!

One of Norway's current literary personas, one of the very few that are talked about abroad*, Dag Solstad apparently hangs out at 'Litteraturhuset' (newly built centre for literature, debates and liberal amounts of bullshit). Contemplating finding a first edition and harassing him into signing it. I don't like the man or his writings, but it could be worth something if it remains unread. Should I?

At some point last week I decided to let all serious books have some time off, and read leisurely:
Ian McEwan's Amsterdam was something of a disappointment. It reminded me slightly of Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea, with which I have a rocky relationship. The reviews I've seen complain about the plot, which is reasonable enough. Though the plot is not the point here, as with so much of the fiction I read: it is the characters, the conversations, ideas, the craftsmanship. It is well-written, not quite to the standard of Atonement, but good. Very much a 'booker prize novel'.

I picked up The Rights of Desire, André Brink, on [livejournal.com profile] withered_petals's recommendation, I think. Am I totally off with the name? A response to Coetzee's Disgrace, one of my favourite books. It's explicitly referenced, and alluded to throughout: I think of it as Brink's post-colonial vision, a reshaping of Coetzee's. The same relationship of middle-aged, bookish man and young, captivating girl. The story is interesting enough, but Brink does not quite get under the skin of his protagonist. And I don't think the distance was intentional.

While it is an interesting book, it did not sweep me off my feet like Disgrace did. There's something about it that puts me off. I'd love to write about it in an academic capacity, perhaps alongside Lolita as well as Disgrace. Or compare their post-colonial projects. I want to write a third book, alluding to both of theirs. But that's it. Oh, I did love the allusions. Very modernist, and absolutely lovely. There was one to Prufrock, 'time to wear my trousers rolled'.


* All Norwegians have a thing for the world outside: we speak of it with almost the same reverence afforded our GPs.
nirinia: (Default)
I ordered Nabokov's The Original of Laura on Sunday, and can't wait to open it. (If someone doesn't yet know, I'm a 'Nabokovian', sworn on pain of death). He is, I've reasoned, my adult Roald Dahl: articulate, wry, dark. My brother wasn't as taken by him, but we both gleefully read the passage where George gets rid of his grandmother to ours. Hold my hand, I just found an interview in Norwegian about his. Fan glee! The most charming broken Norwegian I have heard, a bit archaic. He has obviously forgotten a lot. But he speaks Norwegian! With a very peculiar accent, a mix of some Norwegian dialect I presume his mother had, and an English accent. 'Og så har jeg this tray in my lap', he is adorably bad!

One of Norway's current literary personas, one of the very few that are talked about abroad*, Dag Solstad apparently hangs out at 'Litteraturhuset' (newly built centre for literature, debates and liberal amounts of bullshit). Contemplating finding a first edition and harassing him into signing it. I don't like the man or his writings, but it could be worth something if it remains unread. Should I?

At some point last week I decided to let all serious books have some time off, and read leisurely:
Ian McEwan's Amsterdam was something of a disappointment. It reminded me slightly of Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea, with which I have a rocky relationship. The reviews I've seen complain about the plot, which is reasonable enough. Though the plot is not the point here, as with so much of the fiction I read: it is the characters, the conversations, ideas, the craftsmanship. It is well-written, not quite to the standard of Atonement, but good. Very much a 'booker prize novel'.

I picked up The Rights of Desire, André Brink, on [livejournal.com profile] withered_petals's recommendation, I think. Am I totally off with the name? A response to Coetzee's Disgrace, one of my favourite books. It's explicitly referenced, and alluded to throughout: I think of it as Brink's post-colonial vision, a reshaping of Coetzee's. The same relationship of middle-aged, bookish man and young, captivating girl. The story is interesting enough, but Brink does not quite get under the skin of his protagonist. And I don't think the distance was intentional.

While it is an interesting book, it did not sweep me off my feet like Disgrace did. There's something about it that puts me off. I'd love to write about it in an academic capacity, perhaps alongside Lolita as well as Disgrace. Or compare their post-colonial projects. I want to write a third book, alluding to both of theirs. But that's it. Oh, I did love the allusions. Very modernist, and absolutely lovely. There was one to Prufrock, 'time to wear my trousers rolled'.


* All Norwegians have a thing for the world outside: we speak of it with almost the same reverence afforded our GPs.
nirinia: (Hades)
I used to write about literature, didn't I?

McEwan's Atonement, Morton's The House at Riverton and The Secret Garden (I haven't read it, but judging by the dust-jacket it's one book with different names), Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. None of them are badly written, Atonement is at times heart-breaking, but they are all very much the same. Old, dying, remorseful lady confessing her sins. Or the sins, or secrets of others. A new genre, perhaps? Dignified Romance Novels? Bedside reading for the educated housewife. Aimed at Lit. students with time off.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Markh Haddon. I think some mad psychiatrist/acquaintance/colleague of Father recommended it, when she heard what I study. It is easy-going, naive postmodernism about a fifteen-year-old with Asbergers. From what little I know of the disease, the character is accomplished. Other than that, it is unremarkable. The writing is uninspiring, the technique a replica. A more childish version of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Did Haddon read Postmodernism 101 while writing it?

Coetzee I've commented on, and still love. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) was surprisingly good. A thoroughly unreliable narrator and no plot to speak of makes for a very interesting read. Toni Morrison took me aback when I started her Sula. Another one of those tedious black novels, I thought. Never have I been more mistaken. The story is compelling enough, but her writing is fantastic. Poetic, insightful, striking, and oh, the characters. She is entirely deserving of her Nobel Prize.

"Daughters of distant mothers and incomprehensible fathers (Sula's because he was dead; Nel's because he wasn't)" (Sula, p. 52). Sometimes what is implied is all the more powerful because it is not written.

Next on the list is DeLillo's Falling Man, another fictional account of 9/11. The other DeLillo book I bought was way over my head. He wrote it after finishing a master in maths and physics, apparently. I hope that excuses my thick-headedness.
nirinia: (Hades)
I used to write about literature, didn't I?

McEwan's Atonement, Morton's The House at Riverton and The Secret Garden (I haven't read it, but judging by the dust-jacket it's one book with different names), Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. None of them are badly written, Atonement is at times heart-breaking, but they are all very much the same. Old, dying, remorseful lady confessing her sins. Or the sins, or secrets of others. A new genre, perhaps? Dignified Romance Novels? Bedside reading for the educated housewife. Aimed at Lit. students with time off.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Markh Haddon. I think some mad psychiatrist/acquaintance/colleague of Father recommended it, when she heard what I study. It is easy-going, naive postmodernism about a fifteen-year-old with Asbergers. From what little I know of the disease, the character is accomplished. Other than that, it is unremarkable. The writing is uninspiring, the technique a replica. A more childish version of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Did Haddon read Postmodernism 101 while writing it?

Coetzee I've commented on, and still love. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) was surprisingly good. A thoroughly unreliable narrator and no plot to speak of makes for a very interesting read. Toni Morrison took me aback when I started her Sula. Another one of those tedious black novels, I thought. Never have I been more mistaken. The story is compelling enough, but her writing is fantastic. Poetic, insightful, striking, and oh, the characters. She is entirely deserving of her Nobel Prize.

"Daughters of distant mothers and incomprehensible fathers (Sula's because he was dead; Nel's because he wasn't)" (Sula, p. 52). Sometimes what is implied is all the more powerful because it is not written.

Next on the list is DeLillo's Falling Man, another fictional account of 9/11. The other DeLillo book I bought was way over my head. He wrote it after finishing a master in maths and physics, apparently. I hope that excuses my thick-headedness.

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