nirinia: (xkcd)
Could really be good at this hermit thing I've got going. I read (currently more Bolaño than American History), eat, drink litres of water, play some PS3, play with the monster dog, post the occasional update on Facebook on my lack of academic prowess, eat some more. And I have a face mask I need to get rid of, so by the end of the exam period, I'll hopefully have really great skin.

Can't bring myself to read The Original of Laura edition I have, it's too pretty to spoil. I'll wait for a paperback, or it to go on sale and buy a second one. We partied ridiculously on Saturday: too drunk, too tired to do much, enough booze and coffee to stay up all night. We did stay up far too long, I think we slept a collective half hour. At some point I held court in bed, I think I was fully clothed, or hope I was. Very heart-felt conversations with lovely people, and then a pathetic discussion with a very nerdy boy of 14 (I don't think he was 14, he might have been 16, or 18, even) about discipline. He could not argue to save his drunken hide, so I promptly informed him that he could return to talk to me when he had learned to think. Harr, harr. We had far too much fun with scathing remarks, and I was in horrific form from having bitten my tongue for weeks. It ended in a cuddle-fest of a naschpiel. Everyone piled into bed, and got up hungover and miserable a few sleepless hours later, with sprained arms and stiff necks.

*Naschpiel, a word for after-party. Alcohol and coffee pre-requisites, sofas and good music almost as crucial.

Where I rant about an epiphany )
nirinia: (xkcd)
Could really be good at this hermit thing I've got going. I read (currently more Bolaño than American History), eat, drink litres of water, play some PS3, play with the monster dog, post the occasional update on Facebook on my lack of academic prowess, eat some more. And I have a face mask I need to get rid of, so by the end of the exam period, I'll hopefully have really great skin.

Can't bring myself to read The Original of Laura edition I have, it's too pretty to spoil. I'll wait for a paperback, or it to go on sale and buy a second one. We partied ridiculously on Saturday: too drunk, too tired to do much, enough booze and coffee to stay up all night. We did stay up far too long, I think we slept a collective half hour. At some point I held court in bed, I think I was fully clothed, or hope I was. Very heart-felt conversations with lovely people, and then a pathetic discussion with a very nerdy boy of 14 (I don't think he was 14, he might have been 16, or 18, even) about discipline. He could not argue to save his drunken hide, so I promptly informed him that he could return to talk to me when he had learned to think. Harr, harr. We had far too much fun with scathing remarks, and I was in horrific form from having bitten my tongue for weeks. It ended in a cuddle-fest of a naschpiel. Everyone piled into bed, and got up hungover and miserable a few sleepless hours later, with sprained arms and stiff necks.

*Naschpiel, a word for after-party. Alcohol and coffee pre-requisites, sofas and good music almost as crucial.

Where I rant about an epiphany )
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: (Default)
'And the rest is rust and stardust' (Lolita, chapter 25), read that out loud. The repetition of the /s/ sound is what makes it so pleasing to listen to. That is Nabokov's genius. The sentence makes perfect sense and sounds unearthly.

'William Rowe, after studying Nabokov's Russian novels in both their originals and the author's own English translations, found that "a faintly Russian coloration further contributes to the 'live iridescence' of Nabokov's English prose. ' quote stolen from this site. I've suspected that some of what makes Nabokov's writing so alluring is that he as retained some of his beloved Russian. I hope one day to be confident enough of my Russian to read his Russian works. He translated them himself, but also re-wrote them.

The best part is, I have not yet read everything he wrote.
nirinia: (Default)
'And the rest is rust and stardust' (Lolita, chapter 25), read that out loud. The repetition of the /s/ sound is what makes it so pleasing to listen to. That is Nabokov's genius. The sentence makes perfect sense and sounds unearthly.

'William Rowe, after studying Nabokov's Russian novels in both their originals and the author's own English translations, found that "a faintly Russian coloration further contributes to the 'live iridescence' of Nabokov's English prose. ' quote stolen from this site. I've suspected that some of what makes Nabokov's writing so alluring is that he as retained some of his beloved Russian. I hope one day to be confident enough of my Russian to read his Russian works. He translated them himself, but also re-wrote them.

The best part is, I have not yet read everything he wrote.
nirinia: (Default)
I cannot keep track of my favourites for the life of me, so, as I scourge the web for information on my delightful Russian, I keep them here:

On his memoirs, Speak, Memory (then "Conclusive Evidence").
Why he detested Freud, and his imagined audience.
Partly on the writing process.
The Old Magician at Home
Transparent Things
Most of these are stolen from this site, which also apparently contains a few readings.

----

I have been reading about metre, iambic pentameter in its inverted form particularly:
The problem with amateur poetry is that they write is free verse. Free verse is justifiable, if you know what you are renouncing. They write free verse because it is easy; it does not demand any knowledge of metre, rhyme or philosophy; it does not demand thought or care paid to punctation to create an effect. If you, by your free verse, present a poem that is carefully wrought and thought out, I will respect you. If not, I will discard you as a fraud.

My justification? Arrogance.
nirinia: (Default)
I cannot keep track of my favourites for the life of me, so, as I scourge the web for information on my delightful Russian, I keep them here:

On his memoirs, Speak, Memory (then "Conclusive Evidence").
Why he detested Freud, and his imagined audience.
Partly on the writing process.
The Old Magician at Home
Transparent Things
Most of these are stolen from this site, which also apparently contains a few readings.

----

I have been reading about metre, iambic pentameter in its inverted form particularly:
The problem with amateur poetry is that they write is free verse. Free verse is justifiable, if you know what you are renouncing. They write free verse because it is easy; it does not demand any knowledge of metre, rhyme or philosophy; it does not demand thought or care paid to punctation to create an effect. If you, by your free verse, present a poem that is carefully wrought and thought out, I will respect you. If not, I will discard you as a fraud.

My justification? Arrogance.
nirinia: (Default)
When I've read Joyce (the plan is Dubliners, perhaps A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and eventually Ulysses), the volumes in my "un-read shelf" and fulfilled my promise to dad by reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, I think I shall make it my new literary project to read the works Nabokov discusses in Lectures on Russian Literature and then read his take on them.

I'm high on post-modernism, and cannot be bothered to open the Psychology book just yet. Thus, procrastination.
nirinia: (Default)
When I've read Joyce (the plan is Dubliners, perhaps A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and eventually Ulysses), the volumes in my "un-read shelf" and fulfilled my promise to dad by reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, I think I shall make it my new literary project to read the works Nabokov discusses in Lectures on Russian Literature and then read his take on them.

I'm high on post-modernism, and cannot be bothered to open the Psychology book just yet. Thus, procrastination.
nirinia: (Default)
There are writers, authors, and there are artists. There are those who write only to tell a story, prove a point or institute political havoc, and there are those that care not only for the story, the havoc or the point, but for the means by which it is told/intimated; the language. There are those that deem a day devoted to pondering the placement, addition or removal of a comma well spent, and there are those that publicly admit to grammatical ignorance.

"There is only one school of literature - that of talent." Vladimir Nabokov, the man with the unpronouncable name, and whose intellect I greatly admire.

* "A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds the explanation.
"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves." **

**Sticklers really should get out more, and I could use a few more books by Truss.

PS. Footnotes really are wonderful fun. And should be used more frequently.



--------
 
On a different note, I've just found out how to say "'l'll attempt to..." in French. Amazing what a bit of reading does for the vocabulary, isn't it? "Je vais essayer de ..." Now all I have to write is half a page on La Suisse, find a picture or two, explain federalism very shortly, and make either a powerpoint or what is popularly called "overheads" or "foils". I'm not looking forward to it. French is never fun when it involves learning it by heart and speaking to the completely uninterested class, and equally incompetent teacher.

And I've a Psychology article to write, another one for Sociology, a PE test, an oral examination in Social-Studies, a History test and an oral English exam. The English exam could prove to be quite fun, all depending on the sensor.

Picked up Burgess' "A Dead Man in Deptford" again, and I'm becoming increasingly convinced he figured out how to "fuck books".
nirinia: (Default)
There are writers, authors, and there are artists. There are those who write only to tell a story, prove a point or institute political havoc, and there are those that care not only for the story, the havoc or the point, but for the means by which it is told/intimated; the language. There are those that deem a day devoted to pondering the placement, addition or removal of a comma well spent, and there are those that publicly admit to grammatical ignorance.

"There is only one school of literature - that of talent." Vladimir Nabokov, the man with the unpronouncable name, and whose intellect I greatly admire.

* "A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds the explanation.
"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves." **

**Sticklers really should get out more, and I could use a few more books by Truss.

PS. Footnotes really are wonderful fun. And should be used more frequently.



--------
 
On a different note, I've just found out how to say "'l'll attempt to..." in French. Amazing what a bit of reading does for the vocabulary, isn't it? "Je vais essayer de ..." Now all I have to write is half a page on La Suisse, find a picture or two, explain federalism very shortly, and make either a powerpoint or what is popularly called "overheads" or "foils". I'm not looking forward to it. French is never fun when it involves learning it by heart and speaking to the completely uninterested class, and equally incompetent teacher.

And I've a Psychology article to write, another one for Sociology, a PE test, an oral examination in Social-Studies, a History test and an oral English exam. The English exam could prove to be quite fun, all depending on the sensor.

Picked up Burgess' "A Dead Man in Deptford" again, and I'm becoming increasingly convinced he figured out how to "fuck books".
nirinia: (Default)
I've read Nabokov, and now I'm moving on to "Bleak House" and Dickens. "Laughter in the Dark" or "Kamera Obskura" is entertaining at times (particularly when he brings out the "Nabokovian parenthesis"), but too early a work to be truly good - unlike Lolita, he is not yet mature and in power, he has not yet perfected his abilities. I contemplated Sebastian Faulks, Emily Brontë (could do me well, school-wise, but who can be bothered to think tactically these last days of a break?), Pratchett and Tolstoy, but Dickens is the only thing I truly feel like reading. And so, Dickens it is. Until dinner-time, and post dinner it is reading-list ado.

A cold is good for something after all - though this particular one has seen it fit to deprive me of a great chunk of my House-weekend - it would appear (would anyone see it fit to enlighten me about commas in relation to hyphens, perhaps? They bother me, for there should really be one somewhere after "after all"): they justify a whole lot of laying about and doing absolutely nothing. I've finished both the wretched "The Things They Carried" - Nam veterans bothered by PTSD should really get in touch with a psychiatrist, and leave my poor art-form alone - and "Laughter in the Dark" and am starting a new book shortly. All in a few days. A MacBook Pro helps the laying about, too. I love it. Though it's not mine, if you really want to go into tedious detail, I lay claim to it most of the time. Beautiful machine. Yarg.

Nabokov is, by the way, terribly clever; he calls a decadent actress Dorianna Karenina. Ingenious. It is of course, just her stage name, but not only does he convey her as unsophisticated, stupid and vile when answering Rex that she has no idea who her last stage-name originally belonged to, he gives the reader an idea of her without using a single adjective or adverb. And that is a truly splendid art. I wish I could master it half as well as he.

PS. The be-darned "Location" box has a character limit. I'm almost offended. It was supposed to say "Lavishly surrounded by pillows, reclining most languidly in bed". And so does the "Music" box, Bjelleklang's "For meg sjøl ei stønd" plays in the background, from the living-room. The pains of limited freedom!
nirinia: (Default)
I've read Nabokov, and now I'm moving on to "Bleak House" and Dickens. "Laughter in the Dark" or "Kamera Obskura" is entertaining at times (particularly when he brings out the "Nabokovian parenthesis"), but too early a work to be truly good - unlike Lolita, he is not yet mature and in power, he has not yet perfected his abilities. I contemplated Sebastian Faulks, Emily Brontë (could do me well, school-wise, but who can be bothered to think tactically these last days of a break?), Pratchett and Tolstoy, but Dickens is the only thing I truly feel like reading. And so, Dickens it is. Until dinner-time, and post dinner it is reading-list ado.

A cold is good for something after all - though this particular one has seen it fit to deprive me of a great chunk of my House-weekend - it would appear (would anyone see it fit to enlighten me about commas in relation to hyphens, perhaps? They bother me, for there should really be one somewhere after "after all"): they justify a whole lot of laying about and doing absolutely nothing. I've finished both the wretched "The Things They Carried" - Nam veterans bothered by PTSD should really get in touch with a psychiatrist, and leave my poor art-form alone - and "Laughter in the Dark" and am starting a new book shortly. All in a few days. A MacBook Pro helps the laying about, too. I love it. Though it's not mine, if you really want to go into tedious detail, I lay claim to it most of the time. Beautiful machine. Yarg.

Nabokov is, by the way, terribly clever; he calls a decadent actress Dorianna Karenina. Ingenious. It is of course, just her stage name, but not only does he convey her as unsophisticated, stupid and vile when answering Rex that she has no idea who her last stage-name originally belonged to, he gives the reader an idea of her without using a single adjective or adverb. And that is a truly splendid art. I wish I could master it half as well as he.

PS. The be-darned "Location" box has a character limit. I'm almost offended. It was supposed to say "Lavishly surrounded by pillows, reclining most languidly in bed". And so does the "Music" box, Bjelleklang's "For meg sjøl ei stønd" plays in the background, from the living-room. The pains of limited freedom!
nirinia: (Default)
Managed to get out of the house today, with Line the Cripple (blisters, again, poor thing), to stuff our faces and exchange war stories. For one reason or another, we got oogled at a lot more than usual, and I can't figure what people found so peculiar about us today. I got came close to losing an ear-ring but got "Panik Manifesto" and a new Nabokov book instead. I love that man, he is a marvel; he masters the art of story-telling to a fault (google "shamanstvo"), and never fails to baffle his readers with the opening lines. Or semi-colons.

Tomorrow I plan on curing my bad consciousness by basking in reading-list frustrations, and then embarking upon Nabokov's "Laughter in the Dark". I half-hope Vigdis does not answer my SMS, and half hope she does - I need her help.

And I need a new LJ-layout, this one bores me.
nirinia: (Default)
Managed to get out of the house today, with Line the Cripple (blisters, again, poor thing), to stuff our faces and exchange war stories. For one reason or another, we got oogled at a lot more than usual, and I can't figure what people found so peculiar about us today. I got came close to losing an ear-ring but got "Panik Manifesto" and a new Nabokov book instead. I love that man, he is a marvel; he masters the art of story-telling to a fault (google "shamanstvo"), and never fails to baffle his readers with the opening lines. Or semi-colons.

Tomorrow I plan on curing my bad consciousness by basking in reading-list frustrations, and then embarking upon Nabokov's "Laughter in the Dark". I half-hope Vigdis does not answer my SMS, and half hope she does - I need her help.

And I need a new LJ-layout, this one bores me.
nirinia: (Default)
I've Nabokov, and he is absolutely wonderful. <3. Perverse to no end, but absolutely lovely.

Had a hair-cut, at last, it's bob-ish, much like Portman's here, if you remove the fringe.

Og, jeg og Katrine fikk 6 på muntlig høring i historie. Absolutt 6, uten tvil, klar 6. Herrrlig.
nirinia: (Default)
I've Nabokov, and he is absolutely wonderful. <3. Perverse to no end, but absolutely lovely.

Had a hair-cut, at last, it's bob-ish, much like Portman's here, if you remove the fringe.

Og, jeg og Katrine fikk 6 på muntlig høring i historie. Absolutt 6, uten tvil, klar 6. Herrrlig.
nirinia: (Default)
I'm doing it again; I already know far more about Nabokov than I should, when reading something by him for the first time. He seems an aesthete, not to the expressed point of Wilde, but with poignant ideas that define him quite clearly as one. He longed for Russia, and was fascinated by butterflies. But I have no need of that info, and I should not look for it. (Did I mention my needing his "Lolita"?)

I've decided, now, that one should not know anything about the author the first time one reads his works. It alters the experience significantly, and cannot be undone. Take Whitman's "To You", for instance, had I not known he was most likely gay, I would have interpreted the poem very differently - and did, before finding out.

My reading up on Nabokov (whose name's pronounciation I've no clue of, though it is not from lack of trying, - link, see second paragraph - perhaps mum has better insight ) lead me to reading about Synesthesia - neurological condition, most frequently in evidence as colour and words or numbers being linked: ie, coloured words. It's really rather sad that I'm not a synesthete - I only get boring lists of black words.

I survived the first period with a new English class, though the first step inside was utter hell. But hey, now I get to bicker with Vigdis every Tuesday, Friday and odd Wedensday. Fun, fun.
nirinia: (Default)
I'm doing it again; I already know far more about Nabokov than I should, when reading something by him for the first time. He seems an aesthete, not to the expressed point of Wilde, but with poignant ideas that define him quite clearly as one. He longed for Russia, and was fascinated by butterflies. But I have no need of that info, and I should not look for it. (Did I mention my needing his "Lolita"?)

I've decided, now, that one should not know anything about the author the first time one reads his works. It alters the experience significantly, and cannot be undone. Take Whitman's "To You", for instance, had I not known he was most likely gay, I would have interpreted the poem very differently - and did, before finding out.

My reading up on Nabokov (whose name's pronounciation I've no clue of, though it is not from lack of trying, - link, see second paragraph - perhaps mum has better insight ) lead me to reading about Synesthesia - neurological condition, most frequently in evidence as colour and words or numbers being linked: ie, coloured words. It's really rather sad that I'm not a synesthete - I only get boring lists of black words.

I survived the first period with a new English class, though the first step inside was utter hell. But hey, now I get to bicker with Vigdis every Tuesday, Friday and odd Wedensday. Fun, fun.

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