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#5311 voyager

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 01:19 AM

Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union.  I'm starting to warm up to it.  Hard to believe there actually was a plan to create a Jewish homeland in Alaska.

 

It's too bad they didn't include a Yiddish glossary in the back, though; I'm sure my non-Jewish colleague missed a great deal of the references.

 

Speak to me of Mouthfuls.


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#5312 StephanieL

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 07:28 PM

 

Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union.  I'm starting to warm up to it.  Hard to believe there actually was a plan to create a Jewish homeland in Alaska.

 

It's too bad they didn't include a Yiddish glossary in the back, though; I'm sure my non-Jewish colleague missed a great deal of the references.

 

Speak to me of Mouthfuls.

 

Happy to be your translator. ;-)


"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." --John Steinbeck

 

"Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."--Arsenic and Old Lace

 


#5313 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 03:01 AM

I read The Radetzky March right through today. It’s a very easy read, although there are some exquisite passages to re-read and linger over.

Same narrative subject as Musil’s MWQ, but set among Austrian troops at frontier posts and bureaucrats in provincial towns, rather than the Viennese beau monde. The sense of humor is different too. Broch’s Sleepwalkers shares the military background in parts, but ranges more widely and is more savagely satirical.

Ultimately a sad story. I think the character who has the happiest ending is the servant who keels over while polishing his master’s boots.

#5314 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 03:03 AM

Planning a self-indulgent wallow in Henry Miller for next flight.

#5315 Sneakeater

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 05:33 AM

You know, my wife really made fun of me for reading The Root and the Flower many many years ago.  I can't figure out why.  I kept telling her she'd like it.  She would have, too.  (She hadn't read it.  I have no idea what set her off.  None.)

 

I really don't know what was going on there.


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#5316 Sneakeater

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 05:35 AM

Marriage is great -- I'd argue that it's paradoxically the strongest expression/realization Western Culture permits an individual -- but it's strange.


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#5317 Wilfrid

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 02:52 AM

I don’t think my wife has made fun of me for reading something, but you have me combing my memory.

For lots of other reasons, obviously.

#5318 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 11:42 PM

Martin Gaylord, Modernists and Mavericks, a heavy because well illustrated volume which I expected to tell me (again) the stories of Bacon, Freud, and the Soho/Fitzrovia art scene of the 1940s and ‘50s.

Freud and Bacon are the center, but it turns out to be a much wider ranging examination of all kinds of competing “schools,” and once well known artists (Pasmore, Hilton, Bomberg), putting their disagreements and divergences nicely in historical and aesthetic context.

There are some statements which grate as blindingly obvious, but overall a definite recommendation. Intriguing on the international connections too, as British artists responded to French influences (Picasso, Leger) and Italian futurism, but were isolated from their AbEx contemporaries in the States.

#5319 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 11:51 PM

I re-read Tropic of Cancer right through on my return flight from Vegas. It’s a historic document now, I think, because the shock is long gone (because of what it enabled), and what was then a remarkably prescient anticipation of counter-cultural themes is by definition now prescience about what already happened. There are lots of funny bits, though.

And although Miller will never be recuperated from feminist criticism, it’s hard to imagine the fiction of Diane di Prima or Eileen Myles, for example, without him.

#5320 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 11:53 PM

Oh but I did learn that the Van Norden character was based on a journalist rejoicing in the name of Wambly Bald, and a collection of his columns from those days exists (so I got it).

#5321 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 03:00 AM

It must be frustrating to base a fictional character on a real-life person with a name you could never even approximate because it would look too artificial and literary.


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#5322 Wilfrid

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 05:39 PM

I wonder if Wambly would have preferred being called Van Norden in real life and Wambly Bald in the novel?



#5323 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 07:06 PM

I'm sure he would have!


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#5324 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:26 PM

Quine, The Roots of Reference. He is a funny writer, for all his profundity. As children we might distinguish “Mama” from “red” when she goes one way and her shawl goes another.

Basil Bunting’s great masterpiece “Briggflatts,” on the occasion of a celebration at Poet’s House with Tom Pickard, now a venerable poet himself, who as a teenager coaxed Bunting back from a long exile from the literary world.

Waiting for the new Algren biography to arrive.

#5325 Neocon maudit

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 06:42 AM

I'm continually astounded by the quantity of books some of you are able to read. I'm lucky if I can read one proper book a month, and I used to think myself somewhat literate, at least for a dork from the Jersey Shore.

 

I don't think I've read an actual novel since Normal People this winter. That reminds me, I need to open a dedicated thread...