Despite my apparent predilection for more hoary classics, big fat books, quirky metafiction, and overlooked international texts, I find great relief in traditional narratives with calm, easy narratives involving real people challenged by real experiences and real events .. even if real is assuredly fiction. I suspect that reading-for-pleasure is still a significant element in my psyche, periodically contending with my curiosity for more challenging forms of literature which admittedly may be fulfilling an academic rather than a personal need.
Here are three books I have recently read, each of which suggests a different approach to reading.
Continue reading “Three Approaches To Reading”
Let’s go back to the early 1970’s. I came home from work with a fresh, crisp paperbound copy of Deliverance by James Dickey.
I had stumbled upon Dickey in the public library and had read his first three volumes of poetry. Then he showed up for a reading at the university and I got more of a sense of what he was like: something that helped me understand his poems a little better (later I would drive across western Virginia and see the oceans of kudzu which also helped understand certain poems).
Continue reading “To the White Sea”
You are probably aware that the murder capitol of the world is Cabot Cove. Ever since The Manchurian Candidate I have cast a jaundiced eye at Angela Landsbury and the pokey gendarmes of Maine. But that was just fun entertainment (meaning there wasn’t a lot of blood and gore) and Cabot Cove has easily been replaced by the unnamed town in Japan frequented by Goth chicks and body parts stapled to a tree.
While seeking to throw some variety into my reading, I came across a recent volume titled Goth: A Novel of Horror by Otsuichi. I’ve got a soft spot in my scary parts for Japanese horror and this one seemed ideal for a midnight snack. It all takes place in a small corner of Japan where severed hands are buried in the backyard like kimchi and an occasional ear or nipple stapled to the side of a telephone pole is not an unusual sight. But after a half-dozen of these bloody dismemberments and three or four instances of being buried alive on the side of the potting shed, one does wonder why there are no traditional murders in this town: shootings, knifings, nunchuckings, poisonings.
Continue reading “Cut You Up In Little Pieces”