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Thesis and such, plus More Touting!

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  • Krzysztof Majer
    ... Thanks, D! I need to get the third chapter done over the next couple of weks, then it s revising / editing time... ... There s a book I ve been meaning to
    Message 1 of 2 , May 12 11:18 AM
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      Quoth Derik:
      > Good luck with finishing up the thesis Kris. Sounds interesting.

      Thanks, D! I need to get the third chapter done over the next couple of
      weks, then it's revising / editing time...

      > I've been recently rereading another massive novel William Gaddis' The
      > Recognitions.

      There's a book I've been meaning to finally read, one of those biggies such
      as Infinite Jest, Mason & Dixon or Underworld... I must go for one of these
      this summer, there will finally be a break off school / work (ah, the
      pleasures of working in the field of education!). Meanwhile, I've been
      reading Calvino's delightful "Cosmicomics"... Calvino is one of my
      favourites in his own right, but I also wanted to finally read the book that
      (proibably among other things) inspired Our Man to attempt his first 'short
      story cycle', if Funhouse may indeed be called that. I've only read two
      stories / chapters of "Cosmicomics", but I can already see what must have
      appealed to JB: passionate virtuosity in spades!

      As far as I can tell, this is the history of the world (or better still, a
      creation myth of sorts - and a scientific creation myth at that!) as seen by
      an eternal narrator Qwfwq (other, often palindromic names - quirky even in
      the Polish system which often has several consonants in a row - abound: Vhd
      Vhd, Xlthlx and my favourite so far - G'd(w)n <- that last should be an
      exponent, but I don't know how to do it in plain text), who seems to become
      a different creature with every story. The setting itself, mostly Earth (so
      far) is defamilairized - these are sci-fi fables, if ever there was such a
      beast... There's definitely a touch of that in the Night-Sea Journey.
      There's also the problem of inadequate language - the world shifts and
      changes before Qwfwq's very eyes, so certain words do not exist yet - and
      the narrator often comments on his own phrases, e.g. "but that didn't mean
      anything then"... The whole thing's very short, about 150 pages in my
      pocket-sized, large-fonted Polish edition. It makes for brilliant, concise r
      eading - just what I needed after the (however enjoyable) expanses of
      Rushdie.

      .K
    • Derik
      ... I can heartily recommend Gaddis over Underworld, which is uneven. And hell, haven t you read enough Pynchon already? ... Ah, one of the two Calvino books
      Message 2 of 2 , May 12 11:39 AM
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        On Mon, 12 May 2003, Krzysztof Majer wrote:

        > There's a book I've been meaning to finally read, one of those biggies such
        > as Infinite Jest, Mason & Dixon or Underworld... I must go for one of these
        > this summer,

        I can heartily recommend Gaddis over Underworld, which is uneven. And
        hell, haven't you read enough Pynchon already?

        > reading Calvino's delightful "Cosmicomics"... Calvino is one of my

        Ah, one of the two Calvino books that I just couldn't get through (the
        other being it's sequel T Zero). Never before or since did Calvino so bore
        me.

        Have I ever recommend Raymond Queneau to you fine folks? This past
        February his first novel Le Chiendent (this time pub'd in English as Witch
        Grass, formerly pub'd as The Barktree) was reprinted in English by the New
        York Review of Books. It is also one of my favorite novels. Ostensibly
        Queneau was translating Descarted Discourse on Method into a vernacular
        but what came out is a brilliant and funny philosophical novel with a bit
        of Joycean fun (chapters have different styles and such, like the one
        narrated by a dog). It's a great read.
        http://www.nybooks.com/shop/product?usca_p=t&product_id=1005


        Derik A. Badman.

        ---

        "Stop living and read!" - Fernando Pessoa

        "You read too much, erudition will be your downfall and you'll end up a
        librarian." -Queneau

        "Others brag of the books they've managed to write; I brag of the books
        I've managed to read." - J.L. Borges
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