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Wilfrid1

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I just started A.S. Hamrah's The Earth Dies Streaming and I have to say it's stunningly good (so far).

 

This is criticism we can all just take off our hats to.  (This is what I, myself, am trying to do, in another field.)

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Feferman and Feferman, Alfred Tarski: Life and Logic. Just finished Rebecca Goldstein’s little book on Godel Incompleteness, the main interest of which - for me - was the focus on the ontological implications of Godel’s theory (or why it destroys formalism and perhaps intuitionism).

 

Related to Tarski, I read Donald Davidson’s Truth and Predication for the third time. As a change of pace, just started Myers’ The Root and the Flower. It might turn out to be second division Hesse, but it’s been on my list for decades.

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I have to say that Alan Walker’s very old-fashioned biography of Chopin is one of the most purely enjoyable reads I’ve had in a while.

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Wrangled the first third of 2666 during long distance travel. Isn’t is entertaining? But amazed by the translation (Nancy Wimmer) which brings dialogue by the English-speaking characters, written in Spanish, vibrantly to life in English.

 

I like this a lot. Eco meets True Detective.

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2666 I strongly recommend, much wider in scope and implication than The Savage Detectives. I thought I was very clever in seeing Durrell’s quartet as an analogous experiment in the open novel, but hey others got there first.

 

Finishing up L.H. Myers’ tetralogy The Root and the Flower. Forgotten (1930s) and starts slow, but very worthwhile. Like The Magic Mountain, the author chooses a remote and almost hermetic setting (16th century India) to examine ways of being human. Unlike Mann he adds plots and subplots.

 

There are insightful chunks of wisdom one might copy and paste for today. Anyway. Of course, the villain is gay, but that’s possible.

 

For serious readers, please consider, and I am sure it’s online for pennies.

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Thanks for the recommendation, Wilf. I put in a library request. The NY Review of Books has reissued this with an introduction by Penelope Fitzgerald.

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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.

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Reading Sapiens. It’s kind of enjoyable. It’s written for 5th graders with an in your face agenda. It’s fun, I guess, it shouldn’t be this popular:

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Thanks for the recommendation, Wilf. I put in a library request. The NY Review of Books has reissued this with an introduction by Penelope Fitzgerald.

 

I hate to bear bad news, and this really is very confusing, but that looks like a re-issue of the 1935 edition which contains only the first three novels.  He wrote the fourth a few years later, and later editions include all four. I would definitely recommend reading the fourth (The Pool of Vishnu), but of course not if you hate the first three!

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Okay, thanks. I'll see what the library brings me. If it's the trilogy and I like it, I'll look for the fourth volume.

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Hope you like it.

 

I will be filling a long-standing gap this week with The Radetzky March.

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Modiano, Out of the Dark, which doesn’t even pretend to be a translation of the actual title (Au plus loin de l’oubli). And I wonder about the translation generally, because there are paragraphs and sentences I can’t parse. Also, did the translator make a conscious choice to retain the author’s misspellings of English place names (eg Chepstows Villas [sic]), or did he just not notice?

 

I just don’t know with Modiano, and I’ve read a few. Is there something in the original French which lifts these books way above the level of so many similar neo-thrillers? Is he still getting credit for his Occupation novels?

 

This is an odd one even for him, maintaining the post-Situationist, Michele Bernstein-sourced mood of lost youth, but with a London setting, and the bizarre introduction of a historic figure, Rachman (why and what?).

 

It is anyway very short.

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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.

It takes about 100 pages to really take off - if you're not there yet, stick with it.

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