Monday, September 18, 2006

Daisy, Daisy

Feeling rather guilty that I'd let another weekend go by without starting In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, I made myself sit down with it last night after work. Before I knew it I'd torn through 59 pages--more than a week's quota of Proust, generally achieved at a 10-pages-or-so every-day-or-so pace. I don't know if it was the caffeinated beverage I had about 8 or the new translator or if I've finally found myself in accord with Proust's rhythm, but it was a most pleasurable experience and I'm hoping for a repeat when I come home tonight.

I finished Little Big Man Friday night and read Mark Haddon's Spot of Bother from start to finish on Saturday. I read the Robert Stone intro to Warlock and its first chapter Sunday afternoon; perhaps Oakley Hall's sentence structure ("Canning, too, must have known that some day he would be thrown up against one of that San Pablo crew, incur, prudent as he was, the enmity, or merely displeasure, of Curley Burne or Billy Gannon, of Jack Cade or Calhoun or Pony Benner, of one of the Haggin brothers, or even of Abe McQuown himself.") is the real reason that the Proust seemed such a quick read just a few hours later.

CLB and I went shopping for our Utah trip Friday afternoon and capped it off with a visit to Borders at the new mall. Since I knew I'd have Special Topics in Calamity Physics waiting for me when I got home, I made do with a green tea latte and placed holds on Hideous Kinky and the newly published Giraffe later that evening instead of buying them; both should be waiting for me at the library in a day or so. Giraffe looks to be as bleak as Barbara Gowdy's The White Bone which I adored a few years back. I might be able to interest R. in it since it's set in Czechoslovakia.

In non-book-related news, L.'s car has been in the shop since Thursday. This is the third time its been in the shop in the past month, but we think they're actually going to get it fixed this time. The first time they tested everything and decided L. had merely bought a tank of bad gas. The second time they decided the car needed a new distributor. Friday we were told the car needed a new igniter ("sounds more like something a rocket ship would need than a car," I said), but then someone who knew something called us back to say it was the car's computer that was messed up; the computer had been lying to everyone for the past month. ("Like HAL," I said.)

And if a new computer fixes the car, we can rent a U-Haul, transport all the stuff in the garage to my sister's basement, and L. will then have the room necessary out there to get at his tools and the pile of boards so that we can put hardwoods down in the bedroom. And once that is done I can buy a new bookcase to put in the bedroom and I will be very, very happy.


  1. I started in the Shadow of Young Girls this weekend too but just couldn't get into it and only made it to page 15. maybe I need to try caffeinated beverage :)

  2. Andrew11:51 PM

    Re: the car. My first thought was that you are being taken for a ride by the shop (pun intended). Hopefully you have someone knowledgeable on your side?

  3. I managed only 20 pages last night, but I started late because people kept talking to me and I stopped early to watch Clinton on the Daily Show. I'm tempted to get a Moncrieff translation for comparison purposes because this one is striking me as being a much easier read.

    Andrew--We've been using this shop for the last few years and they've always done a good job before now. Having the computer go out makes sense for this car--the first (and only) trouble we ever had with it was an electrical issue the first year we got it. We'll see how it goes today when we get the car back.

  4. I picked up Haddon's 'A Spot of Bother' from the library yesterday. It sounds as though I should put it to one side until the weekend when it won't matter if I get completely carried away.

  5. It makes a great weekend read. It's a little too long, but there's something about a book with short chapters that keeps you moving through it at a very fast clip, so it kind of offsets the bits that should have been shortened.

    Um, if that makes any sense.

  6. I loved The White Bone! This Giraffe book sounds interesting, but incredibly sad.

  7. So, what did you think of Little Big Man? I went through a Thomas Berger frenzy a decade or two ago, read everything of his I could get my hands on.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

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