01092013: Bye, Franzen; and Proust, still

01092013: Bye, Franzen; and Proust, still

Franzen, I’ve found, shies away from an indulgent narrative about families—about his family, here in particular. Snidely, I think: His essays need to have reach—they shouldn’t only be about the Franzens. And so: Family dynamics should naturally draw on Snoopy and its creator. An awkward adolescence—too enlightening, really: who knew Franzen was such a big dorkus?—dignified by an examination of the youth group he belonged to. Selling the house his mother had spent nearly a lifetime to build—a house full, no doubt, of his mother’s disappoints—should lead to a dissection of real estate in America. And, goddammit, troubles with his wife should veer into bird-watching in them good ol’ United States. [Continue reading.]

01062013: With Proust and Franzen

01062013: With Proust and Franzen

Currently reading: The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen; and Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Lydia Davis. • I’ve had a rather triumphant week: I’ve been (*holds breath*) blogging regularly—mostly driven by chants of “It’s the principle of the thing, Sasha!”—plus the very thought of the rest of 2013 continues to inspire in me a hope that it’ll get better, reading-wise. (Life insists that it will look up as well, but I’ve heard that before.) [Continue reading.]

01022013: With Proust and Flynn

01022013: With Proust and Flynn

I began reading both books right before the year ended—on top of promises to myself that I’d finally wrap up Rowan Moore [architecture] and Richard Dawkins [science]. Those promises fulfilled, I then leapt to Hornby [nerdiness], mostly because I couldn’t help it. Proust and Flynn—the latter I bought on the 31st because I was afraid I’d get bored during an lonesome late lunch—moldered in my overnight bag until I went back home in the new year.

Rest assured, I duly chastised myself: You are doing your shoulders no amount of good, Sasha. You can at least read something and make the pain worth it, please. We all have ways of motivating ourselves; my terrible posture happens to be among the most effective. [Continue reading.]

Having reached the last page of The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, a look back:

Ah, the end of an era. Or, well, a 732-page book. I have finally finished reading The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. And, given how scatterbrained I am when it comes to short story collections, I do want to pat myself on the back for finishing this in record time: six months. Imagine that. Now [...]

On Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis: Bah!

And, finally. The last book in Lydia Davis’ fat orange omnibus! I have finished reading the last collection of fiction, Varieties of Disturbance -- published in 2007, incidentally a finalist for the American National Book Award. Boo. Aherm. It has been a long ride, and I thought I’d never make it. Argh. Yes. I read this [...]

Sasha might be enjoying reading the “About the Author” pages a smidge too much —

[This is all obviously off the top of my head. Hello, lazy weekend.] [And thanks to The Boyfriend for letting me borrow his Robert Lowell poetry books for yet another fuzzy book pictorial.] You know the whole la-dee-dah about letting the text speak for itself, the author being dead and all that jazz, the Not [...]