Thesis and such, plus More Touting!
- 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' TheThere'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
- On Mon, 12 May 2003, Krzysztof Majer wrote:
> There's a book I've been meaning to finally read, one of those biggies suchI can heartily recommend Gaddis over Underworld, which is uneven. And
> as Infinite Jest, Mason & Dixon or Underworld... I must go for one of these
> this summer,
hell, haven't you read enough Pynchon already?
> reading Calvino's delightful "Cosmicomics"... Calvino is one of myAh, 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
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.
Derik A. Badman.
"Stop living and read!" - Fernando Pessoa
"You read too much, erudition will be your downfall and you'll end up a
"Others brag of the books they've managed to write; I brag of the books
I've managed to read." - J.L. Borges