Wednesday, March 26, 2008

what's in the news what's in the news what's in the news

It's getting to the point where I can't wait to finish what I'm reading before I respond to it. Mark Rudman's article on Carlos Williams in APR is ok, but somehow even harder to understand than Reginald Gibbons's on Apophatic poetics (that actually, was quite easy to understand, a triumph on Gibbons's part, considering the possibilities). Was he really such a quantum leap? He was an outsider. He was desperate. He was influential. Rudman's essay reminds me that I should read more Williams. Maybe that's what he wants.

Frank McCourt's Teacher Man is good stuff. Finished listening to it on the morning of March 27. His description of an old beat friend reminded me of something in Augustin Burroughs: the one about the house cleaner from hell. But the stories about teaching are as exhausting as the job itself. Hearing McCourt read it has to be an added bonus. Makes me want to read or listen to Angela's Ashes, something I haven't done yet.

Also in the middle of "Seymour, an Introduction." A remarkable bit of sustained enthusiasm and brotherly affection, though I'm glad he's not providing any of those double haikus. "Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters" was also very engaging. I have a lingering sense of deja vu about it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

the expanding universe

It takes a lot of gas to get to the edge. I've been listening to Down and Out in Paris and London. So different from Animal Farm and what I remember of 1984. Funny that reading Orwell as a kid might have shied me away from this gem, even though I'd heard it was good. I'd heard the description of Parisian restaurant work was the best part, but I also love story of the screever named Bozo --someone who could be both intellectual and poor. The gypsy scholar. I suppose that makes me a sucker for the romantic. Oh well. Britain in 1930's, tens of thousands of tramps. Of Mice and Men, but more reminiscent of Never Let Me Go. People on the go. Never Let Me Go. Maybe it's the voice of the reader.