Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BOOKS TO READ THIS SUMMER, FALL,WINTER, SPRING

BOOKS I WILL TRY TO READ AS IF REALLY IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE: SUMMER FALL WINTER SPRING

One

Summer seems to be a time when people PLAN to read. The lists are made. The intention is made but then of course…

Two

What I will be reading subject to boredom, distraction and who knows what will show up and even after I made this list I forgotten to include so I stick it in right now THE SIXTH SENSE by Konrad Bayer with the mysterious line: “she wanted my body from me”

--OP OLOOP by Juan Filloy. Argentinian: “Alas, idiotically, I chose to enroll myself in the bitter school of constraint. I’ve turned my psyche into a stop watch of perfect and ineluctable exactitude…”

--THE COLLECTOR OF WORLDS by Iliya Troyanov : a recreation or a creation or an alternative yet a life of Sir Richard Burton, the 19th century traveler and translator: from the German of a Bulgarian: “She left behind a smile as small as the folded-down corner of a page in a book.”

--GEORGE LETHAM Physician and Murderer by Ernst Weiss… Weiss killed himself in Paris as the Germans marched in… had known Hitler in the early 20th century… “How could I, Georg Letham, a physician, a man of scientific training of a certain philosophical aspirations let myself be so far carried away as to commit an offense of the gravest sort, the murder of my wife?”

--THE NECESSARY MARRIAGE by Dumitru Tsepeneag… the third of this Rumanian’s novels to appear in English: “everywhere the smell of damp and mice and”

--MIRACLES OF LIFE by J.G. Ballard… “the prosperous Chinese businessmen pausing in the Bubbling Well Road to savour a thimble of blood tapped from the neck of a vicious goose tethered to a telephone pole”

--BRECHT AT NIGHT by Mati Unt… Brecht is in Helsinki in 1941 luxuriating while waiting to move to Hollywood while in Estonia the Russian communists and their Estonian fellow travelers are rounding up thousands of Estonians to be murdered including my wife’s grandfather…

--REX by Jose Manuel Prieto… whose NOCTURNAL BUTTERFLIES OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE is one of the greatest titles in all of literature… the final volume of a trilogy of which NOCTURNAL is the first…

--THREE DROPS OF BLOOD by Sadeq Hedayat by the author of THE BLIND OWL… the only world author from what is now IRAQ… THE BLIND OWL is much like STORY OF THE EYE… a singular book on a tiny shelf of such books

--ANONYMOUS CELEBRITY by Ignacio de Loyola Brandao I had read his ZERO a long time ago in an Avon paperback when such books were published as massmarket paperbacks … I love the many typefaces, the fragmented story,: read it in spite of the blurb from a hack and fellow traveller like E.L. Doctorow

--THE TANNERS by Robert Walser… I am not smart enough to understand the complexity of this novel…

--TREADING AIR by Jaan Kross and THE CONSPIRACY AND OTHER STORIES by Jaan Kross Since I am to be in Estonia one can only trust novels when deciding where to go

--NEWS FROM THE EMPIRE by Fernando del Paso.. I am still reading this book, paragraph, sentence by sentence… some books should never be read all the way through… one puts it aside and picks it up… knowing it might out live me…

--THE HALFWAY HOUSE by Guillermo Rosales I will find 300 words… another novel about the consequences of the criminal rule by communist gangsters in Cuba

--LOVE IS LIKE PARK AVENUE by Alvin Levin… the translator of Thomas Bernhard’s poetry recently published by Princeton was respomsible for getting New Directions to bring Levin back to life…

--THE ALLURE OF CHANEL by Paul Morand. Just that. And again: VENICES by Paul Morand… to read them together is to realize once again that all the really interesting writers in Twentieth Century France were on the right: the left produced for the most part apologists for mass murder who never scorned a thug if they could quote Karl Marx

Three

And again THE DEATH OF VIRGIL by Hermann Broch…
and it is time again to be reading Plutrach in preparation for the great novel of Peter Nadas…

four

I will re-read my unpublished books:
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
FORGET THE FUTURE
JUST LIKE THAT
LOSS OF DIGNITY
EMPTY AMERICAN LETTERS
TRAVELING WITH THE DAUGHTER TO EUROPE
FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY

All of it a homage to futility though containing a desire to…

The sad consolation of the two published books with the much copied reviews and articles that they provoked will accuse me or be accused by me: THE CORPSE DREAM OF N. PETKOV, GOING TO PATCHOGUE.

five

Of course I will hear about how times are hard in publishing, for books, for authors and all the rest of it and the amnesia is so apparent: it has always been a hard time…

4 comments:

Sparks said...

I have sitting on my desk at the moment advanced reading copies of Op Oloop, which I am almost too excited to begin; Georg Lethem: Physician and Murderer, which I have really no excuse having not begun, and The Tanners, which I too am not smart enough to understand.

Halfway House is well worthwhile, if sadly too brief (considering the history of its author).

I'll be curious to read your opinion of any or all of these books.

Anonymous said...

Any word on the details of the English-language publication of Peter Nadas' Parallel Stories (date/page count/press/etc)?? I am eagerly awaiting it as A Book of Memories is one of the greatest novels I have ever read.

peter mclachlin said...

Tom:

For the love of god and literature will you please consider posting excerpts of your unpublished novels somewhere on the web (scrib-d) or even offer for sale one or two titles on lulu.com. obviously these measures would be far from ideal, but at least admirers of your writing could get some more mcgonigle.

Anonymous said...

On the projected publication of the English version of Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas -- the grapevine has it down for Fall 2010, translation by Imre Goldstein. As it's been often said, what's worth having is worth waiting for...