Sunday, May 08, 2005

Stuff I've Been Reading Vol.2

Books Read
The Supermale--Alfred Jarry
Nadja--Andre Breton

Books Bought
The Pat Hobby Stories--F. Scott Fitzgerald
One Hundred Years of Solitude--Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Long Ranger and Tanto Fistfight in Heaven--Sherman Alexie
Orlando--Virginia Woolf
Nadja--Andre Breton
Nightwood--Djuna Barnes
Quicksand & Passing--Nella Larsen
Women in Love--D.H. Lawrence
The Supermale--Alfred Jarry
Heart of Darkness--Joseph Conrad
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim--David Sedaris

In Quills, the Abbe de Coumier says of the Marquis' incessant scrawling, "It's a poor writer who produces more than he reads." How doomed am I? For I certainly buy more than I read, though I rest still within the bounds of the Abbe's warning. I certainly do not produce more than I read. Ever. But when my ratio of books read during a given month pales in comparison to the amount of money I have spent on books during that month, there certainly is something wrong with the picture.

I'm afraid that, due to my sheer lack of time here in the collegiate world, I was only able to finish those books which were required for class. Jay once told me that people who like to read shouldn't become English majors because they will no longer be able to read for pleasure. And he's definitely right in the sense that I don't have time to read anything that I won't be graded on.

Nonetheless, The Supermale and Nadja are certainly interesting texts. I really liked them both, though I think The Supermale is much easier to digest than Nadja. Supermale is a really cool anti-technology story filled with booze and crazy sex and machines, which I read as a novel that warns us against the dangers of our technological dependence, but there's a lot more to it than just that. I've already written a paper on it, so that's all your getting out of me here. It's a definite must-read if you enjoy bizarre science fiction stories from the turn of the century.

The reason I say that Nadja is much harder to digest than The Supermale is simply because it's a Surrealist work. It's purpose is to defy understanding. I've gotten two things out of Nadja: more fuel to the argument for the power of the female muse and a new favorite name. Nadja tells Breton in the novel that this is the name she has chosen for herself because it is "the beginning of the Russian word for hope--and it is only the beginning."

Just to defend my absolute inability to enjoy the written word, let me remind you all that I am not simply a slacker. I am costuming a show. And it has taken over my life. I live in my Denmark sweatshirt and little bits of thread. Parts of my fingers are lovingly sewn into every garment I make because I don't own a thimble. And I suck at historical-comparative linguistics. So most of my time is divided between sewing and problems that take entire days to solve. I did read 2 stories in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim while waiting for David Sedaris to sign my book (which, after two stories, I gave up on) and I am almost finished with Rex Pickett's Sideways. Almost.

1 comment:

Greg said...

So I see you read alot and you're making me feel rather sad that I am horrible when it comes to reading, due to my horrible attention span. Do you read any non-fiction? I'm looking to attempt to do something I've never read before and that is read a full book, besides RL Stines Goosebumps when I was in the 5th grade. I could use a suggestion.