Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Exactly 300 pages yet to go in Alexander Hamilton. I could have it finished by the end of the month if I commit to reading a chapter each night. I may regret having purchased Adams vs. Jefferson since at this point it looks as if AH is going to cover a lot of the same territory in its second half.

Started March last night; two chapters in I already like it lots more than Year of Wonders.

Since it's National Poetry Month and we're celebrating, er, studying poetry every single day, I'm already very tired of hearing S. tell me that he just doesn't like poetry. It's good for your brain, I keep telling him (link via Book Glutton). Yesterday I added Maxine Kumin's Jack to our selection of Wordsworth poems and it was the hit of the day. Of course, it helped that he'd learn to ride on a horse named Jack and that he knows a couple of roans, but hey, we had a wonderful discussion even once we quit with the horse talk.

A huge number of book lists can be found at Lists of Bests.

Saul Bellow died yesterday at the age of 89. Philip Roth credited him--along with William Faulkner-- with providing "the backbone of 20th century American literature." (SF Chron)

Michiko Kakutani writes, "For all the awards Mr. Bellow received in the course of his career, he saw himself as going against the mainstream of contemporary literature, skeptical of the willful aestheticism and postmodern pyrotechnics that had become increasingly fashionable, and equally dismissive of the trendy nihilism evinced by writers he called 'the wastelanders,' those who believe, in his words, that it is 'enlightened to expose, to disenchant, to hate and to experience disgust.' He believed that literature should hew to one of its original purposes - the raising of moral questions - and his own writing remained firmly indebted to the works he had studied as a boy: the Old Testament, Shakespeare's plays and the great 19th-century Russian novels."

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