Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This is funny:
"You pay the big man, the big name, to be on your faculty, for publicity's sake, and naturally he does very little in terms of actual teaching, might in fact be on leave every other year or traveling much of the time. The real work of teaching is done by others, as we all known. Do we know!" (212. "Nemesis").
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Inspired by 'the most hated woman in the UK', a serial killer that's never named in the novel, we are faced with a cop's vigil as a warder of the woman's corpse in the morgue. Many thanks to Carmen... again! for this extreme and beautiful novel that should be quoted entirely; so at random:
"He studied himself for minutes on end, trying to catch a glimpse of it. The weakness, the ugliness. The fatal flaw. It must always have been there, he thought. Other people had seen it, perhaps. If they had, they'd said nothing: it wasn't the kind of thing you could talk about. It had taken the birth of a child to establish it beyond all doubt. To bring it out into the open".
A read that lingers...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Incredible to think that in the US Harper Perennial ignored a hard back for this incredible novel and went directly to the paperback, which is a shame in a 838 pages book (as well as an irony: perennial?). Darkmans was shortlisted for the booker and it's an impressive novel, absolutely Barker from every angle! Quotes later
Saturday, January 12, 2008
"No help. None. No pity, and no mercy for she'd been bled dry of such herself. Run to earth, and broken utterly. And suffused with God's will. God gave me streng, guided my hand and so it was, and so it would be...
"Why 'Starr Bright' dipped her forefinger into the pig-blood, to test its heat perhaps, to test its viscosity, she would not known and would not afterward recall. Whispering aloud, in wonder great as the dying man's before God's wrathful throne, 'Now you see! Now you see! Pigs and fornicators!", from Starr Bright Will Be With You Soon.
"To speak of oneself entails without doubt some distortion; the image we have of ourselves surely corresponds very little, almost not at all, to the reality of what we are. In any case, when one attempts to speak of an itinerary claiming to have wandered along the borderlands of poetry, the possibility of distortion increases, one might say, infinitely".
"Reality also appears early on to children in the tragedy of its contradictions; it even allows glimpses of its final nullity; and yet it always possesses moments (that are in no way 'rare' or 'privileged', because they are able to surprise us at any time, even during the deepest, most stagnant depression)in which it reveals its absolute dignity, or better, its 'worthiness' in existing, which has reasons solely within itself--all to be recognized, never all recognizable".
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
...steps down. I've been meaning to read more of Ruth Rendell's mystery fiction. Still haven't faced the chief inspector's novels, for which she is much known, but have wandered through her other works. It's incredible how she can use the mystery/suspense or phsychological thriller to draw attention on tough topics such as xenophonia and racism! In this spectacular novel the main character is Mix, a man obsessed with a black model and a serial killer long dead:
"Mix intended to be famous. The only possible life anyone could wish for these days, it seemed to him, was a celebrity's. To be stopped in the street and asked for your autograph, to be forced to travel incognito, to see your picture in the papers, to be in demand by journalists for interviews, to have fans speculate about your sex life, to be quoted in gossip columns..."
An how do you think we will acquire this?????
Sunday, December 23, 2007
This novel made me think of other authors from the UK (Never again will I make the mistake of saying 'English'): John Banville and Ann Enright (both of them Irish). Naturally this means their main topics in their latest novels: death. Curiously enough both novels got the Booker, this year and last year. This one, Gerard Woodward's magnificent novel, "I'll Go to Bed at Noon" is part of a trilogy but stands totally by itself. This is a terrific novel that tackles the problem of alcoholism in an entire family. There's death and despair in this novel, and a lot of literary references, but it is easy to read because of Woodward's direct, even matter-of-factly prose, full of humour within the tragedy. I love this part, almost at the end of the novel when Colette, the matriarch dies (cirrhosis of the liver). This is Aldous's perspective, Colette's surviving husband:
"Afterwards Aldous sat in a small park of ornamental willows and wept. He realized he now had more time than he knew what to do with. More time than he could ever want. He was healthy. He was sixty-seven. He had no job, no wife, no children, no mortgage, no pets, and perhaps a good ten years of active life left, perhaps fifteen, perhaps twenty. Those years spread before him with a vastness such as the early palaeonthologists must have recognized when they first realized that the Earth was much older than the Bible had told them. Not a few thousand years old, but five billion years. What had the world been doing all that time, what species had risen and fallen, what ages had passed? And in the future, the pathway of time streched further than the human race could ever walk. More time than humanity could ever fill. No matter how long the human race lasted, it would only ever be a flicker in the life of the universe, a twich of an eyelid.
When he got home he found a letter for him on the mat. It was his new bus pass. A free bus pass. The GLC had recently announced free travel on London Transport for all old age pensioners" (430).