Monday, September 26, 2005

Hiding out in the bush league

It's hard to focus on blogging when you have a new kitten in the house. It's even harder to focus on blogging when the fact that you have a new kitten in the house means Claudius has gone into hiding under the couch and must have his latest bout of silliness catered to so that there are no bad kitty accidents in the house. It's exceedingly hard to focus on blogging when R. and G. come home from college to meet the new kitten and bring her potent catnip. Under the influence of catnip sweet docile Ellie transforms into demon spawn who dares crawl under Claudie's couch and chase him repeatedly through the house until he takes refuge in R.'s closet with Ellie lurking right outside the door.

Bad Ellie. No more catnip for you.

Poor Claudius. How to make you see the new kitten really isn't the least bit dangerous.

I have been reading, though. I'd ignored all the hoohah last spring about Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safran Foer and how they must have collaborated on their novels because I truly wasn't interested in reading either of them. But The History of Love kept being steadily and positively mentioned at Readerville, and I did so like the cover, so after allowing the Krauss to languish on my desk at work for several weeks I picked it up one night last week and instantly fell in love with the voice of Leo Gursky. Simply a lovely, lovely book that I'm already looking forward to rereading, although I think I ought to read Bernard Schulz' The Street of Crocodiles first, since Krauss made reference to it several times. There's an interview with Krauss here, where she says:

"In the beginning," Krauss says, "this book was very much about writing. I was thinking, well, how many readers does one really need? If it reaches one person and changes her life, is that enough? Or two people? The idea that there is a book that has a print run of under 2,000 and that nobody reads but in the end a single copy of it connects and changes all these lives was very moving to me," she says. "I write because I want to reach people and have the kind of conversation with them that can happen only through a book. It's one of the most beautiful conversations there is, I think. So as the book progressed, I realized that I was writing as much about reading and being a reader as about writing. And I became unabashed about occasionally putting in lines from all the writers I love."

I've also been reading Walden and (re)reading A Canticle for Leibowitz with S. I've read a few pages of Zadie Smith's On Beauty and intend to take it with me tomorrow when I work at the precinct.

I've also been counting, the new blogging craze. I counted more than 50 multi-volume authors using the four-volume cut off, but just a bit more than a handful—Shakespeare, Margaret Drabble, Anne Tyler, Larry McMurtry, John Updike, Robertson Davies—when I use the double-digits cut off. I'm a real bush leaguer compared to others.

I think I'll go slink under the sofa and live with Claudius.

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