Seems a weekend for meme-tag. This one comes courtesy of present over at Let It Be
. The subject is books, our loves and a dis-list thrown in. Thank heavens for President's Day off, and a little extra time on my hands, though truth be told, I've got a pile of six weeks tests and grading comments awaiting me on my day "off." Better this bit of earnest procrastination.
4 childhood books I've read.
1. The Collected Works of James Marshall
(local Trinity grad made good, with the sublime George and Martha, the Miss Nelsons, the outrageous Fox series, the Stupids, and Space Case, just to name a few).
2. Winnie the Pooh
A. A. Milne (One Bear of Very Little Brain to another)
3. Frog and Toad Are Friends
Arnold Lobel (Demented toad and his analyst pal)
4. Moo, Baa, La La La
Sandra Boynton (Walden's very first book, from "Aunt" Diana)
4 Classics, read and never forgotten. (Damn! What's a "classic?")
1. Narcissus and Goldmund
Hermann Hesse (The beginning of the turning point, my freshman year.)
2. The Sound and the Fury
William Faulkner (Fully turned, at this point)
3. Bleak House
Charles Dickens (Beginning of a six month love affair with CD)
4. The Odyssey
Homer (Fitzgerald's translation and his wine-dark seas
4 Personal Modern Classics
1. Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon (Far more expansive than any drug)
2. The Tropic of Capricorn
Henry Miller (Less sex than its notorious companion, but for my money, much more profound, and better written to boot.)
3. All the Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy (It took two tries, but the second time I was hooked: it lived and breathed in me for months; a gorgeous, heartbreaking extended coda.)
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One of the best endings, bar none.)
4 Authors I've read again and again.
1. Thomas Pynchon.
2. Grace Paley.
3. Padgett Powell.
4. John Fowles.
4 Books I'll never read again (nor comment upon, either.)
1. Julius Caesar
2. Things Fall Apart
3. The Golden Notebook
4. The Corrections
4 Books on my To Be Read / Busta Move list (how the hell do I know this?)
1. Another Easter/Lenten reading of Gravity's Rainbow
2. Thoreau's Collected Journals.
3. Padgett's long-awaited new novel, whenever it gets here.
4. Isaac Bashevis Singer's Collected Stories
2 Fiction / 2 Nonfiction Books to the Desert Isle.
1. Against the Day
2. Collected Stories
3. Rimbaud in Abyssinia
Alain Borer (translation: Rosemary Waldrip)
4. The Maine Woods / Cape Cod
Henry David Thoreau
4 Book recommendations I have followed and loved.
1. Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon (A life-changer, recommended by my junior year English tutorial grad student)
2. Lonesome Dove
3. The Simple Truth / What Work Is
Philip Levine (Poetry we should all read)
4. Collected Stories
H. P. Lovecraft (L, the brilliant resident Rimbaud at the Instituto, was about to pin an awesome drawing of Cthulhu on my bulletin board: she refused to do so, until I read some Lovecraft. HP puts Poe to shame. Cthulhu got pinned.)
The last lines of one of my favorite books.
Well, this was an interesting finish. For the longest time, I have always held the last lines of One Hundred Years of Solitude
and All the King's Men
to be the best endings to any novels I have read. Turns out they are on a list I just found of the 100 Best Last Lines from Novels. So, here goes:Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind or exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the documents, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.
We shall come back, no doubt, to walk down the Row and watch young people on the tennis courts by the clump of mimosas and walk down the beach by the bay, where the diving floats lift gently in the sun, and on out to the pine grove, where the needles thick on the ground will deaden the footfall so that we shall move among the trees as soundlessly as smoke. But that will be a long time from now, and soon now we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.
(Robert Penn Warren)
But, then again:The boardwalk through the thinned swamp looked miraculous, as if the burning had been a plan of architectural landscaping. The handsome, lean swamp, the walk suggesting a miniature railroad trestle going out into it, resembled a park. If you winnowed and got down pretty clean and were normal, she thought, and something happened - like a big-bubba sheriff and thousands of windfall contracting and a completely different kind of life than you had had - and you started becoming a character, and you paid nothing for it and did not scheme for it, and it reversed your winnowing, and you liked brandy suddenly, at least in coffee, while watching men who put classical sculpture to shame, was it your fault?
(The last paragraph of Padgett Powell's story "The Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping," from collection entitled Typical
Once again, the slacker's approach to tagging. All who wish to enter the sandbox, just jump on in...