Saturday, October 17, 2015

Molloy by Samuel Beckett

There I am then back in the saddle, in my numbed heart a prick of misgiving, like one dying of cancer obliged to consult a dentist.

All roads were right for me, a wrong road was an event, for me.

For in me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking othing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible a little further one.

But these were mere crises, and what are crises compared to all that never stops, knows neither ebb nor flow, its surface leaden above infernal depths.

We underestimate this little hole, it seems to me, we call it the arsehol and affect to despise it.  But is it not rather the true portal of of our being and the celebrated mouth no more than the kitchen-door.  Nothing goes in, or so little, that is not rejected on the spot, or very nearly. Almost everything revolts it that comes from without and what comes from within does not seem to receive a very warm welcome either.  Are these not significant facts.  Time will tell.

It's a strange thing.  I don't like men, and I don't like animals.  As for God, he is beginning to disgust me.

Unfathomable mind, now beacon, now sea.

Don't wait to be hunted to hide, that was always my motto.

Intense and intensely beautiful and sad, and hugely blackly comic.  Parallels to my beloved THE THIRD POLICEMAN by Flann O'Brien abound.  For investigation.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


The Circle by Dave Eggers

Sort of cool imagining of near-future when a Google-like company has seized control of almost the complete world.  There is forward momentum throughout and its an easy read.

Many flaws though.  Awful dialogue that sounds mostly like editorials, thin characterizations (particularly of the narrator, Mae), gigantically obvious and silly metaphors (the Aquarium replicating the bottom of the Mariana Trench).

I was increasingly reminded of Dosteovsky's Underground Man who seems embodied by the hapless, martyred Mercer who wants only to be left alone to construct his chandeliers out of antlers.  Following on that, then, Mae is the proto-typcial Above-Ground Woman, who seeks to be completely known to society, completely "Transparent."

Thursday, October 08, 2015

At Freddie's by Penelope Fitzgerald

Perhaps not as unsettling and certainly not as personal as Offshore, At Freddie's is still a wry, actuely observed triumph about the 1960s theatre world in Britain, children, love and a host of other things.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Straight White Male by John Niven

Sheer enjoyment.  Some one-dimensional characters, but the portrayal of the protagonist, an alcoholic sex maniac screenwriter and one-time novelist, as he spirals out of control and attempts a mid-life course correction is dynamite:  funny, touching, verbose, and maudlin.  But always funny.