The old man’s mind

The old man’s mind

I am pleased to announced that my first foray into post-canon reading was a blubbery success: I’ve read Michael Chabon’s pastiche on Sherlock Holmes, The Final Solution, and absolutely loved it. It was, I think, a nice book to read in transition from the canon, to whatever reading I feel like doing next—either a reread of Doyle, or a digging up other pastiches that place their stories firmly as career stories. Mostly because it’s a nice nod to my having ended that first run through the canon—it’s a tidy novella about a Sherlock Holmes old and retired and, in fact, only alluded to. [Continue reading.]

03052013: The Unread of February

03052013: The Unread of February

The “Currently Reading” counter on my Goodreads account has morphed into tally of bibliophilic failures; since the tail-end of January and all throughout February, the books themselves have been shuttling in and out of my bags, on top of desks both at work and at home, beneath my pillows, beside the bed, on the floor, and until recently—in the case of poor Simenon—where I keep my underwear. They’ve gone to and fro Quezon City and the heart of Manila, they’ve sat quietly inside my bag, beside computer cords and my make-up kit and chocolate bars, while I sat through meetings and had dinners both welcome and not. They’ve been opened, marked, closed, then set aside in favor of other books. [Continue reading.]

“Ahí vienen los toros. Here come the bulls.”

On Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan van Mersbergen, translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson. This is the contemporary adult, if slightly embittered, [male] road trip. Danny, a professional boxer on the run from some unnamable horror, meets Robert, a family man on his yearly pilgrimage to Pamplona. There’s not so much self-discovery here as there [...]

Summer NYRBs

April is the usual [hello, global warming] start of the summer here in the Philippines. I’d know, though, regardless of any calendar—the daily twenty-minute walk from the office to the train station has me wishing I could rub against an ice cube doing the mambo. One of the things that the season [one of blasted [...]

“And I am asking you, do you still remember?” — Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig

#35 of 2011 • Journey Into the Past, by Stefan Zweig – translated from the German by Anthea Bell; – with an introduction by André Aciman. In remembering a poem by Verlaine – In the old park, in ice and snow caught fast / Two specters walk, still searching for the past – a chilling [...]

The Palimpsests

#34 of 2011 • Next World Novella, by Matthias Politycki -- translated from the German by Anthea Bell. A. Hinrich Schepp, a happy-enough unremarkable man, finds his wife dead. Quite dead, on his desk—presumably, her last breaths were exhaled over his long-buried fiction manuscript, now festooned with her scribbled edits and notes for revision. What [...]