Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In between all this editing and yard work, I've been reading J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, a novel about the sepoy rebellion in British India in the mid-1850s. It's an odd book, partly because it's quite plausibly disguised as a straightforward historical novel with the cast of characters one is accustomed to finding in novels about colonial India. But everyone is strange, and their strangeness isn't only the result of the siege but is evident well beforehand. By strange, what I mean is that each person has his or her odd obsession, which collides with other people's odd obsessions; and meanwhile, they playact their Victorian proprieties. Add carnage and starvation in close quarters, and the novel rapidly becomes hallucinogenic. In short, it makes less than ideal bedtime reading, but I'm reading it in bed anyway.


N Fisher said...

Carnage, starvation, and mirages- My favorite themes!

Oh, and Hello Dawn. Just dropping in.

Dawn Potter said...

I'm not sure I'd call this book "literature for the ages" or anything, but it does have peculiar clutter.

Recovered from your weekend yet?

N Fisher said...

Yes! I think i've slept it off successfully.

But I'm sure by now you've developed better strategies for coping with post-editorial board madness. What is your secret? Making fists with your toes? Vitamins? Skydiving? Benders?

Share the coping skills!

Dawn Potter said...

Coping skills

(1) Play loud, sloppy, anti-intellectual, overemotional music before and after the session: e.g., the Hives, Hole, Oasis, and their ilk. This is very restful for the brain. NPR is deadly because it presses you to imitate thinking. Baseball games aren't bad, so long as your team is winning.

(2) Have a drink, lie on the couch, and watch other people work.