Archive for the ‘self-reference’ Category


Falling Behind

September 5, 2007

Ugh. This has got to be my least favorite part about book blogging: I have recently finished three books, but can’t find the time or energy to write them up in a way I would find satisfactory. (I’m not counting The Recognitions in this tally, even though I finished it in May and still can’t figure out how to properly respond.)

Here are the booklogs I need to write, in the order I finished the books:

  1. The Recognitions (May 19)
  2. I and Thou (August 17)
  3. Jacob’s Room (August 21)
  4. The Corrections (August 30)

Hopefully, if all is well, I can write at least three of these (probably excepting The Recognitions) before I finish any more books, or at any rate before I leave for vacation in two weeks.


Greatest Love Story Meme

August 14, 2007

It’s a slow day at work, perfect for a meme. (I got this from Ted).


I’ve read it
I want to read it
I’ve seen the movie*
I’m indifferent
I have it on DVD**
I want to marry the leading man/lady!

The list:

  1. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë, 1847*
  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813**
  3. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, 1597**
  4. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, 1847*
  5. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936*
  6. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 1992*
  7. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier, 1938*
  8. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, 1957
  9. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, DH Lawrence, 1928
  10. Far from The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy, 1874
  11. My Fair Lady, Alan Jay Lerner, 1956*
  12. The African Queen, CS Forester, 1935
  13. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald, 1925*
  14. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen, 1811*
  15. The Way We Were, Arthur Laurents, 1972
  16. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, 1865
  17. Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne du Maurier, 1942
  18. Persuasion, Jane Austen, 1818*
  19. Take a Girl Like You, Kingsley Amis, 1960
  20. Daniel Deronda, George Eliot, 1876
  21. Maurice, E.M. Forester, 1971 (posth.)
  22. The Good Solider: A Tale of Passion, Ford Madox Ford, 1915
  23. The Goldbug Variations, Richard Powers, 1991

Ulysses reading group?

August 9, 2007

I want to bring this up at Tilting with Windmills, but I think it will be less alarming to throw it out on my own blog first:

  • would anyone be interested in a forming a reading group to work our way through James Joyce’s Ulysses?

I say this, obviously, because I would not only be very interested in joining one, but in spearheading the operation. Ulysses is, far and away, my favorite book of all time, but one that I have only read completely through once, despite returning to it and reading chunks several times a year.

Many book-bloggers have expressed trepidation about Ulysses, and I’ve often attempted to calm their fears and say something slightly more eloquent than what I mean: “Just read it!” There is no possible way that it will let you down, even if you can’t shake the sense that you’re only “skimming the surface,” because the surface of Ulysses is magnificent!

I also believe that Ulysses is an ideal choice for this type of blog-collective, for several reasons:

  • it is a vast, multi-voiced, text, therefore making it excellent for a multi-voiced reading experience
  • it can be discouraging at times, so a cloud of peers will be very helpful
  • the amount of secondary material that can be brought in, for assistance, for exploration, and for depth, is astronomical, and much of it is readily accessible on the web
  • it is ideally read with some sort of schedule or structure, as it can be so very easy to put down, but can be difficult to return afterwards

So what say you? Would anyone be at least a little bit interested? If so, leave a comment and let me know.

(pictured: Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses)



July 20, 2007

Emerging from weeks of inactivity, I decide to take a quiz, the results of which approach the reason for my weeks of inactivity:

You’re Mrs. Dalloway!

by Virginia Woolf

Your life seems utterly bland and normal to the casual observer, but
inside you are churning with a million tensions and worries. The company you surround
yourself with may be shallow, but their effects upon your reality are tremendously deep.
To stay above water, you must try to act like nothing’s wrong, but you know that the
truth is catching up with you. You’re not crazy, you’re just a little unwell. But no
doctor can help you now.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.


Reading Scared

June 21, 2007

This remark from The Modern Word rather perfectly captures my feelings about reading The Recognitions — I am still reeling:

The Recognitions makes one so terrifyingly uncertain about the “unique” or “authentic” nature of experience and art that upon finishing it one cannot be sure one read a novel, as either term may be suspect.


In Anticipation

June 11, 2007

It’s only Monday, but I’m already super-fired-up about this Saturday: June 16 — Bloomsday!


Best of On the Web: Number 1

June 3, 2007

This is the first of what I hope to make a regular feature: short list drawing attention to the best things I read on the interweb this past week. Shall we begin?

  • The best thing I read this past week was this review, from the London Review of Books, on the problems of consciousness. Adam Roberts summarizes and responds on The Valve.