2006-06-09 10:31

Keep Cool but Care

So, I finished GR last night. So much more beautiful and obscene than I could possibly have fathomed as a callow teenager. And I have glimpsed more finely now the roots for so many of the esthetic choices in my life. “Keep cool, but care.”

The Shakedown is now between V. and resuming Sodom & Gomorrah a dozen or so pages on from where I left off. My mind is still reeling from GR, and there are more than a few overlapping characters and elements, so I may just have to dig in. My copy of V. is a disintegrating Perennial edition from 1986. It’s already lost the half-title page. The binding glue has calcified and is dropping off in little white flecks. I have paperbacks from the 1950s that are in better shape. Shameful. But I’ll make due.

Research for my prose pieces continues, and consumes most of my socalled free time. The minute I don’t want to learn anything new, someone shoot me. (As my neighbor said, tipsy from his second brandy alexander, if you stop moving, you’re dead.) Volcanoes; the Fisher King; the West India Company; the I Ching; the river IJssel; film terms and the history of cinema; the Iliad; medieval satires. Put it all in a pot, along with the medieval and modern ideas of evil (which are, delightfully, almost complete opposites), and you have something rather fun. And I’m reading Ruskin and Boëthius, too.

readings Pynchon

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In the Zone GR is still going strong: Slothrop is about to ditch his pig suit, so Marvy’s castration and the bombing of Hiroshima are only hours away; it is so
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Sahha Finished V. It is the 20th century in microcosm. People are on obsessive quests for something they don’t understand, and which may be nonexistent;