Memories of Ice Cream

images.jpgWhen I was in High School I suffered a debilitating lower back injury that forced me to withdraw from all strenuous physical activity. I sold my surfboard, tossed my athletic supporter in the laundry, deflated my volleyball, and transferred from Physical Education classes to become a library assistant.

Working in a High School library taught me a lot about the tasks and skills needed to maintain an apparently large collection of reading materials. I look back at it now and can only smile at how quaint and primitive it all was. Needless to say, it was a time before computers (our word processor had to be sharpened regularly).

In between lettering book spines, shelving returned books, checking out new acquisitions, and even sweeping the floor, I had plenty of time to roam around the library, discovering new and interesting materials. One book I recall pulling down from the reserved shelf more than once was a big thick one full of quotations (Bartlett’s?) that when I was seventeen seemed fresh and profound but would now be considered clichéd at best.

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Christine Brooke-Rose

EPSON MFP imageChristine Brooke-Rose falls under the category of being one of the best writers of the Twentieth Century that no one reads. I think part of the problem is that Brooke-Rose is challenging: her prose is exact, manipulative, and obscure; she is postmodern but her works suggest the nouveau roman; her insight is always on target but if you don’t put in the effort, you won’t get the benefit.

Apropos to a recent discussion (in another venue) Christine Brooke-Rose is NOT the author anyone who reads and praises Harry Potter or Stephen King will want to read. But if you like your literature more demanding, intellectual, imaginative, and unique, then Brooke-Rose is for you.

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