Sunday, September 20, 2015

I am reading the poems of Jane Kenyon alongside Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust, and they do not go together at all. In fact, the combination is beginning to make me feel like that Star Trek alien who travels among the galaxies coated in what looks like glossy white house paint on one side of his body and glossy black house paint on the other. Locust is so brittle and jeering; I am struggling to finish rereading it, though I do acknowledge, even amid my dislike, its cleverness and comedy. The scenes on the Hollywood stage sets are particularly entertaining, but the characters are so tinny. The book is making me long for the real storytellers--Charles Dickens, Raymond Chandler . . .

Anyway, I have Kenyon to keep me warm.

Talk to me about what you're reading. Is it the right book, or the wrong one?


Dawn Potter said...

From David (N or 49): Finished volume 6 of Proust yesterday morning. One to go, and it is still "the right book". p.s. So is the graphic novel, vol. 1--NYT bestseller! Go figure.

Carlene said...

I am immersed in Gilgamesh of late (required paper due by Thanksgiving), and I was struck by a similarity between your "rant" about awards being equal to worthiness/intellectual achievement and the heroic journey in the text. Gilgamesh is motivated by his overweening desire to be important, to be remembered for his heroic deeds; he learns, instead, that no one is or can be immortal, that seeking fame and renown is superficial, and that building a solid and respectable wall (fortification to protect others) is far more lasting and of real worth.

I'm not sure if this ancient Sumerian text is my "right one" but it's the one I've chosen to dive deeply into for a while! The arc I'm following for my paper is the function of companionship in the myth; perhaps that makes it my "right one" for right now.