books, books, books

This is for all non-EC or peripheral-EC topics. We all know how much we love talking about 'The Man' but sometimes we have other interests.
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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:32 am

Is Leslie Kaufman your nom de plume?
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:20 am

Oh Otis! Would that I had one or an outlet with which to use it in. Though I think I would have taken VS Pritchett or Angus Wilson had they not already been utilized. :shock:
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:26 pm

This from a recent New Yorker really catches a feeling I share for poetry- that it is best tasted and appreciated when first mastered through memorizaton. Brad Leithauser, a strong poet himself, explains playfully why:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... ze8ziiVEow

I am eager to aquire his newly published Selected and New Poems: The Oldest Word for Dawn just published on 2/15/13 by Knopf.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:45 pm

Soul of the Age- A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare by Jonathan Bate. I have enjoyed the way he has approached the subject. Not trying to write a traditional biography using the few known facts he has created a biography of Shakespeare's intellectual development using the famous Seven ages of men speech from "As You Like It" as the books scaffolding. It works well and allows Bate to roam freely amongst the plays and poems and Elizabethan history to recreate a vibrant portrait of the man. It is delightfully written and is too often interspersed with strong literary analysis. The notion that he can play with fact and imagination so creatively is exhilarating. One of the best works on the bard I have read in some time. Now on to Bate's The Genius of Shakespeare and Shakespeare and Ovid. These two should make for some good early Spring reading.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:38 am

Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage by Richard Holmes. I enjoyed how Holmes gives a vibrant and relevant voice to the two characters in this book which is ultimately about the creation of a new kind of biography as pioneered by Johnson in his Life of Savage. It is a fully realized 'objectification' of one's life outside oneself'. The story of these two men, endlessly walking, talking and arguing throughout the dark nights on the labyrinthine streets of 18th century London is scary and invigorating. This portrait of the desperately poor but supremely ambitious young Johnson and the friendship he strikes up with a minor poet in the bowels of London is riveting. The art that Johnson creates out of this friendship is memorable. I love the last line from his Life of Savage-'There are no proper Judges of his conduct who have not slumber'd away their time on the Down of Plenty'.' Very much recommend this book.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:43 am

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/th ... vel_b63275

This is something to feel excited about on two fronts- a new novel in the fall of 2013 and a possible collaboration on a movie with Paul Thomas Anderson. :D
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:03 pm

Poor Deportee wrote:I don't know how it is that I never read Shirley Jackson's classic The Haunting of Hill House. But having finished it, white-knucked, last night, I can heartily recommend it. It goes FAR beyond potboiler haunted house tropes (although its command of these is admirable) and emerges as a most affecting, and unsettlingly skewed, character study - its protagonist Eleanor Vance being a creature both sympathetic and disturbing. Loaded with subtleties and ambiguities, the book's only flaw is its occasionally arch Edwardian dialogue; and even here, it's not clear whether this is a flaw (or a limitation of the prevailing norms of the time) or a deliberate technique for underscoring the odd relationships that prevail among the principal characters. A prime example of literary 'genre' fiction. Do yourself a favour, if you haven't read it, and give it a go.



Further evidence offered for why Ms. Jackson should be read in the current Slate:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/201 ... _than.html
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:50 am

Every few years certain writers and thinkers need to be revisited, particularly those that resonate in their prose and thought with one's innermost being. Such a writer for me is Samuel Johnson and in particular his magnificent essays from the middle period of his life, in the 1750s, when he was at the height of his material and was arguably the most important person writing in English letters. His essays that made up the Rambler, the Adventurer and the Idler are monuments to sustained and eloquent moral, critical and social thought. The sentences are knotted with a syntax that is tart, complex and serpentine in its development upon the page. I, in my short life, have found no stronger moral and critical thinker than the good doctor. I regularly return to the pages of his selected issues from the three series as edited by W Jackson Bate, his great modern biographer. The doctor is a touchstone for me. I need to take nourishment from him regularly. That he did these monuments to sustained thought while at the same time doing grub work for publishers and single handedly compiling the first real dictionary of the English language is astounding while suffering from his own mental torments and extreme poverty will always touch me. He has refreshed my spirit these past weeks.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:22 pm

Jack of All Parades wrote:Tenth of December by George Saunders. His fourth collection and currently #3 on the NY Times bestseller list for fiction. Imagine that a collection of stories. I have been singing this book's pleasures to anyone who will listen. It is that good. Saunders can take the most mundane of acts or situations and comically twist it with his electric language and skewed humor into a memorable circumstance. I do not think he can write a boring sentence. The opening story, "Victory Lap". is a prime example. A 15year old girl descending a stair case is suddenly enveloped in violence which involves the next door neighbor boy. The denouement is classic. The title story deserves to be anthologized- it is that good. Again a young boy out in sub zero cold on a walk and alive in his imagination encounters a dying cancer patient out to end his own life- what happens between the two of them stays with you with an epiphany that I cannot forget. Saunder's stories are now embued with a humaneness that is quite touching- there is a heart behind the previous irony and humor. He is a master.


Just checked it out after a long wait for it at the library. Read it in 2 nights Very, very good. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:12 am

Nice to read that you enjoyed it. Would highly recommend any of his previous collections- "Civil War Land in Bad Decline", "Pastoralia" or "In Persuasion Nation". You might also want to try out another solid new collection- "Vampires in the Lemon Grove" by Karen Russell. She should have one the Pulitzer Prize last year for her novel "Swamplandia". All solid reads.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:14 pm

Back to fiction having been reinvigorated by the recent publication of two exceptional Short Story volumes by two authors I have come to greatly appreciate. Now the latest novel by another contemporary American author I have learned to cherish- Richard Ford. This time his novel from last year, Canada.

Ford is possessed of a prose style that dazzles without being flashy. I quite often find myself lingering on a page to savor and resavor a particular image or sentence or paragraph. But his writing is not gratuituous show- style with no substance. He also possesses the narrative talent of a master- he can plot a story while still layering it with voices and scenes that reverberate in one's head long after the page has been passed. In this case he tells the story of teenage 'orphan' fifteen year old Dell Parsons whose parents in 1960 have committed an illadvised bank robbery and murder leaving him and his sister alone and entirely dependent upon the kindness of strangers even if it is 'family'.

The novel is in essence Dell's coming to grips with the breaking apart of his life as a young man- of trying to come to terms with more questions than answers. Through Ford, his voice is an engaging one- terse, honest, funny and not self absorbed. One finds oneself easily lost in Dell's constant circlings around the questions in his head. As he states late in the novel from the perspective of being a middle aged English teacher "Ruskin wrote that compostion is the arrangement of unequal things"-that is this novel in a nut shell. It tangles with and never really completely answers the question of why one's life acts out the way it does- what happens when lines are crossed both literally and symbolicly. There is a loneliness that is scary in the pages of this novel.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:19 pm

The Information by James Gleick. This book is not to be gobbled down in one fast sitting. I have luxuriated over it through the past two months and that is how it is best approached. Take your time learning the concepts; ponder the wonderful explications and examples. Savor the information. What Gleick has accomplished is to give us an entertaining and yet very challenging history of how the human race has learned things and will continue to do so into the future. It goes from drumming on the African continent to clay cuneiform tablets in Sumer to the young mathematician, Charles Shannon, in the Bell Labs in 1948 and his seminal paper "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" which along with the invention of the transistor that same year has resulted in the 'information age' we feel engulfed by today. As Shannon noted "the message didn't matter, just the convergence". Communication is purely sending a message over a distribution system. That is the problem.

Gleick tells this explosive story with a wit and exuberance that takes him back and forth in time and place, populating the history with the many characters who have expanded how we gain information. My favorite section is when he goes into great detail about Charles Babbage at Cambridge and his work with Lord Byron's illegitimate and brilliant daughter Ada in the mid 19th century. He ranges from Maxwell's Demon, to entropy, to Godel's Theorem, black holes and selfish genes to show that 'information is the substance from which everything else in the universe derives." It is almost as if it is the Higgs Boson of communications theory to borrow from quantum physics.

I love the final image in the epilogue of Borge's Library of Babel where we struggle to 'find lines of meaning among the leagues of cacophony and incoherence' within which we all constantly swim these days. Gleick has gone a long way to providing me with a serviceable road-map to the new 'nervous system of the Earth' in the twenty-first century. Just a tremendous book and an essential one for a modern person. Ultimately the question becomes what is worthwhile 'information'.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:17 pm

Letters to his Son and Others Lord Chesterfield. I enjoy reading collections of letters and this one has been a real joy. Educated, pragmatic, social, observant and gifted with a prose style that stays alive both on the page and on the tongue as one reads select passages, Chesterfield is the urbane man that we rarely see now. The individual letters are an attempt to aid in the education of his son and begin when the son is five and end when he is thirty three. They are filled with instructions and examples of what will make a 'fine gentleman'. They are also filled with love and respect and hope for a child. I love how they always begin with Dear Boy. I am the father of three daughters and can only marvel at the dedication and love it took to maintain this correspondence. I can only hope I have lovingly instructed my children as he did his son. My favorite amongst many is a letter from December 1749 where he instructs his son in the need to use his time wisely- the example he gives of an esteemed gentleman who was noted for his time management skills who uses his time in the 'necessary closet' to read the Latin poets and when he has finished with a few pages of Horace tears them out of the book to complete his time in the closet. It is a hoot.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:52 am

Good ones are frequently forgotten. Sad to say this. I can mention this man's name these days and it elicits no response. He deserves to be brought out from time to time just like one of those 'pieces of soap' that he was so fond of collecting.

I found Stanley through Esquire back in the early sixties with his manic story "I look out for Ed Wolfe". Its voluptuous usage of words, its sarcasm and teeming humanity hooked me. I knew of only one other writer capable of utilizing the English language as individual dabs of paint on a canvas, John Updike, but Stanley's usage was less formalistic, more imbued with a savage life force. Later William Gass made me more aware of Stanley's special skills.

I am reminded of these things because I just revisited his The Dick Gibson Show which I have just reread for the umpteenth time. It is one of those life affirming books that merits constant visitations. As the book jacket says it is a book about the human voice and Stanley gives it a workout within its pages using the metaphor of a late night radio show to entertain the reader with hilarious and ribald tales of the human condition. It is arguably one of the funniest books I have ever read. Stanley had a tremendous streak from the early sixties well into the late seventies, from Boswell to The Franchiser. He also had one tremendous first paragraph to announce his entry into American Literature[it is also indicative of his unique blend of moxy, humor and brio]-from Boswell

"Everybody dies, everybody. Sure. And there's neither heaven nor hell. Parker says hell is six inches below the ground and heaven four above the head. So we walk between, never quite managing to touch either, but reassured anyway because heaven is by two inches the closer. That Parker! What difference does it make? Everybody dies and that's that. But no one really believes it. They read the papers. They see the newsreels. They drive past the graveyards on the outskirts of town. Do you think that makes any difference? It does not! No one believes in death."

From Boswell to The Franchiser he could do no wrong for me. He stumbled some in the eighties but found his voice again at the end with The McGuffin and Mrs. Ted Bliss. I miss him. On a day that is rife with the thought of the afterlife and with resurrection I offer this as a way to restore Stanley to a proper place as one of the strong word magicians of the latter twentieth century in the American vernacular. He 'lives' when you read him and his sentences are joyfully life affirming.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:04 pm

Nice blog piece from the New Yorker site on the 5oth anniversary of V:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... bxnkke7p6Q
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:23 pm

Nice one. It's making me want to re-read it. I read it very quickly 30 years ago, on the back of Grav's R and Lot 49. I enjoyed the speed reading, I just couldn't get enough Pynchon at that point and largely abandoned my English undergrad texts for him at that stage of my degree, but I also remember I was starting to think in his voice after a while. Sadly it didn't last.

One detail in that link: he claims Bleeding Edge is Pynchon's first return to Manhattan since V, but even though, very sadly, I abandoned my reading as I read it at the absolute opposite pace to the one above described, what I did read of Against The Day contained some pretty significant stuff there too, right?
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:13 am

ATD certainly does make strong usage of NYC. Good memory from you. Maybe not as significantly as V but it is a locale that he has always used effectively in his fiction. I liked being reminded of the preacher teaching his flock of rats scene in the book.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:12 pm

Otis- whet your appetite a bit more:

http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format ... 0090628202

Maxine Tarnow- perhaps a new character to cherish.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:21 pm

... and probably 'her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst'. And let's not forget 'a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler’s aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues' et al.

I think it was suggested, if not confirmed, that Pynchon penned the fantastic blurb for Inherent Vice and it's hard to immediately this is the case here with several elements of a distinctly Pynchonian tone. It's either him or someone who does a good line in homage. 'Hey. Who wants to know?'

Well it all sounds very promising, and quite a surprise that he's gone almost contemporary on us.

Can't wait to see the cover.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:22 am

For the past few weeks I have been following with real enthusiasm the excerpts being published in Slate of the new verse translation of The Divine Comedy as done by Clive James. I am in love with his muscularly powerful line with its delicate attention to the interior rhyming. His take on this canto where Dante meets Ulysses is damn fine and his whole take may may well be my new translation of choice going forward[visit Slate as this seems to be ongoing and make sure to read his introduction where he talks about how his wife turned him on to the original Italian when he visited Florence in the sixties]:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/book ... no_26.html

The following canto is reprinted from Clive James’ new translation of The Divine Comedy, out now from Liveright.

Florence, rejoice! For you are grown so great
Your wings beat proudly over land and sea,
And even Hell proclaims your rich estate,
Speaking your name abroad, your destiny.
Among your citizens, I’d just found five
To shame me that I shared their place of birth.
Their skill at theft when they were still alive
Brought you no honour. What their schemes were worth
You’ll find, if near the dawn our dreams come true,
When Prato rises up against your greed,
A craving felt by other places too:
The sooner done the better, and indeed
Done years ago it had been overdue—
It must be done, or it will weigh the more
On me as I grow older. We moved, then,
And on the stairs the rocks had made before
For our descent, my Leader climbed again
And drew me up. We went the winding way
Among the rocks and splinters, and the foot
Made no advance without the hand in play.
I grieved then and I grieve now when I put
My mind to what I saw, and I rein in
My powers more than usual, lest they run
Where virtue guides them not, and I begin
To curse the gift my lucky star, or one
Yet higher, gave me. Count the fireflies
The peasant sees when he rests on the hill—
In the season when the one who lights our eyes,
And all the world, least hides its face, and will
Soon sink to give the fly’s place to the gnat—
The lights he sees along the valley floor
Might well be glowing in the vineyards that
He gathered grapes in, or the fields that wore
Him out from tilling them that day. The same
Number of lights were strewn in the eighth ditch
Gleaming, so I could see them when I came
Within sight of its base. The night looked rich:
A lake of lights, and each light was a flame.
Elias, whom the bears avenged when he
Was baited by small boys, once watched it flare—
Elijah’s chariot, majestically
Drawn skyward when its horses pawed the air.
No matter how he fixed it with his eyes
He made out nothing but the flame alone:
He saw a little shining cloud arise,
The glow surrounding where the fire had flown.
Just so each flame here moves along the throat
Of this ditch and none shows it is a theft
Of some vile sinner’s form we may not note.
I stood there on the bridge above the cleft
Grasping a rock as I stretched out to see.
For sure I would have fallen had I not
Held on—and then my Leader, seeing me
Look so intent, said “All these flames are what
False counsellors must wear and be burned by.”
“Master,” I said, “I’m sure now, having heard
You speak, of what I guessed. Already I
Wanted to ask, before you said a word,
About that fire, divided at its peak
As if it were the pyre of those two sons
Of Oedipus who killed each other. Speak
Of who is in there. Are there two? Which ones?”
He answered. “Two are punished there inside.
Ulysses is in there, and Diomed.
In vengeance now together they are tied
As once in wrath. They groan for pain and dread
Within the flame, and for the clever plan
Of the gift horse that opened up the gate
For the noble seed from which great Rome began
To first burst forth, and in that fiery state
They rue their craft by which Deidamia
Gave them Achilles, and they feel the heat
For what they stole from Troy and took so far
The stricken city sought its own defeat:
Pallas Athena’s image. There they are.
The thieves of the Palladium. In there.”
“If they can speak,” I told my Guide, “I pray,
If they can speak inside these lights they share,
This light, I pray that you might let me stay—
May it avail a thousand times, this prayer—
Until that flame with double horn comes near.
You see I bend towards it with desire.”
And he: “Your prayer deserves praise, never fear:
And therefore I will grant what you require.
But guard your tongue. I’ll be the one to speak.
I understood what you would like to know,
And they might scorn your language: they were Greek.”
After the flame had reached the time and place
My Guide thought fitting, thus he spoke to it:
“You that are two within one fiery space,
If while I lived you ever thought me fit
To be respected when I wrote of you—
If I was worthy of you, whether much
Or little, when I did my best to do
You justice with my heightened lines—let such
Devotion from me sway you to stand still
While one of you tells where, when he was lost,
He went to die.” Hearing my Master’s will,
The larger of the flaming horns was tossed
And murmured as if by the wind misled.
Its point waved to and fro as if it were
A tongue that spoke, a voice thrown out, that said:
“When I left Circe, having lived with her
More than a year in Italy, before
Aeneas got there, no love for my son,
No duty to my father, and what’s more
No love I owed Penelope—the one
Who would have been most glad—could overcome
In me the passion that I had, to gain
Experience of the world, and know the sum
Of virtue, pleasure, wisdom, vice and pain.
Once more I set out on the open sea,
With just one ship, crewed by my loyal men,
The stalwart who had not deserted me.
As far as Spain I saw both shores, and then
Morocco, and Sardinia, and those
Numberless islands that the sea surrounds.
But men grow old and slow as the time goes,
And so did we, and so we reached the bounds
Of voyaging, that narrow outlet marked
By Hercules so nobody should sail
Beyond, and anybody thus embarked
Knows, by those pillars, he is sure to fail.
Seville on my right hand, I left behind
Ceuta on my left. ‘Brothers,’ I said,
‘Dangers uncounted and of every kind
Fit to make other sailors die of dread
You have come through, and you have reached the west,
And now our senses fade, their vigil ends:
They ask to do the easy thing, and rest.
But in the brief time that remains, my friends,
Would you deny yourselves experience
Of that unpeopled world we’ll find if we
Follow the sun out into the immense
Unknown? Remember now your pedigree.
You were not born to live as brutes. Virtue
And knowledge are your guiding lights.’ I gave
With these words such an impulse to my crew
For enterprise that I could not, to save
My life, have held them back. We flew
On oars like wings, our stern, in that mad flight,
Towards the morning. Always left we bore.
Stars of the other pole we saw at night,
And ours so low that from the ocean floor
It never once arose. Five times the light
Had kindled and then quenched beneath the moon
Since first we ventured on our lofty task,
When we could see a mountain, though not soon
Could see it clearly: distance was a mask
That made it dim. But it was high, for sure:
Higher than anything I’d ever seen,
It climbed into the sky. Who could be more
Elated than we were, had not we been
Plunged straight away into deep sorrow, for
The new land gave rise to a storm that struck
Our ship’s forepart. Three times the waters led
Us in a circle. Fourth time, out of luck.
Stern high, bow low, we went in. Overhead
Somebody closed the sea, and we were dead.”


I hope this is not a final effort by him as everything I read hints at the seriousness of his current health condition. The final line of this canto with someone closing the sea above is perfect.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:11 am

Pulphead-Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Have not read a collection this alive to both language, syntax and a distinct personality in some time. The best of these pieces have a feeling shared with good fiction- that a milieu, characters, a place or person has been brought to life uniquely. They strike me on reflection as being the non fiction equivalent of a Flannery O'Connor story- their strange subject matter is intoxicating and savagely funny. The best of his essays like his piece on a Christian rock festival or living with the irascible last surviving member of the Agrarian movement in literature or of about his getting to know Bunny Wailer deserve to be anthologized. In the town I live in also lives another young writer on a par with Mr. Sullivan- Sam Anderson. These two strike me as leading examples of the new literary journalism that is taking hold- the ability to tell a story from a uniquely ironical perspective, to be eminently quotable and to practice a prose that is electric as it snaps and hums on the page- they are worthy heirs to David Foster Wallace.
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:19 am

A tantalizing look at the first page of Thomas Pynchon's new novel Bleeding Edge due this September:

http://gothamist.com/2013/04/13/read_th ... _pynch.php

Otis- take note there appears to be a namesake as a character and also check out through the link a picture of the book cover. :wink:
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Jack of All Parades
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:42 am

Walking Home-A Poet's Journey-Simon Armitage. I am a sucker for this genre- travel in the first person, expecially a long established hiking path. In this case the Pennine Way. Armitage brings his eye as poet to the people and landscape he traverses. Here is an example"Cows lumber freely across the lower slopes and through high bracken, like big slow balloons, with no obvious sign of ownership or restriction. The view in every direction is delicious: a solar system of summits, majestic but benign hills overlaid with lush grass and the odd rectangle of planted conifer." It helps that he was born and raised in the area. He also goes at the trail backwards-starting at the end in Scotland. He is funny, self deprecating and he is attuned to the nuances of the road. I like how he links the notionof hiking/walking to the long standing tradition of oral story telling or poetry. His idea that to finance his walk he will hold nightly poetry readings while on the road and pass a hiking sock for contributions is a hoot. Good book- good poet.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Otis Westinghouse
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:24 pm

Heard about that one and keen to check out. Good bloke.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Jack of All Parades
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Re: books, books, books

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:51 pm

From what I can read about him, Otis, he seems most charming. I have greatly enjoyed his Selected Poems published here titled The Shout and another collection Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid. I like his assured ability to work with rhyme and meter. He and Tobias Hill have caught my attention over your way. I also found his recent translation of Sir Gawaine and the green Knighta fun and invigorating read. The weather here today is in the high 60s with bright blue sky- has me itching to hike although I think I would find the Pennine much different weather wise as his book regularly points out. He is following in a long standing tradition- Keats, Wordsworth, Hazlitt, Dr. Johnson- all great walkers who used their treks to inspire their art. His book makes the moor country spring to life in my imagination- I literally can feel and smell the mud and peat and lichen encrusted rocks.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'


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