Books coming in, ready to read:
Don Delillo: Falling Man
William T. Vollmann: Poor People
But, wrt novels, I’m still busy finishing a few tomes that I started reading last year and that somehow I’d feel to have ‘behind me’ before going on…
James Joyce: Stephen Hero. Difficult to believe, I didn’t start reading the remnants of the early Joyce-novel till last year, and I left the last 50 pages to be read until two weeks ago. It is easy to see why Joyce rejected it. Too Irish somehow. (If that’s a good way of putting it). Too regional. Not enough distance. On the other hand the writing is so much better than all the other Irish novel-writing of the age.
Stephen Hero a strange novel to read for the first time: it was like rereading. Most of the scenes are ‘used’ in the Joyce biographies and also in Stanislaus Joyce’s My Brothers Keeper.
Georg Gissing: New Grub Street. Picked that up second-hand because Geerten Meijsing wrote so beautifully about it. A bit on the long side and a bit too much naturalism for my taste (well, to be honest, I have problems to keep track of all the family connections between all the characters), but a great sketch of the trade of writing. Still 150 pages to go.
Tobias Smollett: The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker. Eightteenth century satiric stuff. Found it difficult to get into, but once you’re acquainted with the various characters and their styles it becomes very enjoyable and funny. Arno Schmidt loved this book. A sketch of eightteenth century England and Scotland, with, amongst others a description of the literary society. (The old Grub Street, so to say). I’m halfway.
For the time being I will be silent about Against the Day. 200 pages to go since february.
Oh well, and then the books that I get from the library, the books I hope to read, but probably will only read partly due to a lack of time: Marc Kregting’s collected essays Laden en lossen, HH ter Balkt’s Zwijg en De gedenatureerde delta, a big book on European free jazz, Mike Heffley’s Northern Sun, Southern Moon, and Huub Beurskens translations of William Carlos Williams.
This post is less about reading matter than about a desire to read.
Some links then:
Good to see that the old Delillo-site still exists in the old format (online since 1996): http://www.perival.com/delillo/fallingman.html
Conversational Reading on Poor People: http://www.conversationalreading.com/2007/03/vollmanns_poor_.html
Of course Jorn Barger has notes on Stephen Hero: http://www.robotwisdom.com/jaj/portrait/shero.html.
Text of New Grub Street at Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1709.
Did I ever link the webpage of Geerten Meijsing? Well, it’s here: http://www.meijsing.com/. I don’t know what to say about it.
Humpry Clinker at Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2160.