I finally pulled together the Reading Essentials page, which has links to some favorite blogs, writers, bookstores, and general reading and writing sites!
Random Links of Interest
- The New Digital Public Library of America
- The Slow Death of the American Author
- Jeff Noon feature in The Guardian
- 20 Literary Facts to Impress Your Friends With
- Read the First Page of Thomas Pynchon’s New Novel (which won’t be released until September 17th of this year)
Disappointment, Slow-Goings, and Technology as Distraction
I was pretty excited to find a copy of Ben Marcus’s The Flame Alphabet at the library recently. Marcus is one of those writers I keep meaning to read (along with countless others), so I checked out the copy and spent the week reading it. It’s a fascinating premise (children cause an epidemic simply by speaking–their speech becomes some sort of virus that only impacts adults) and his prose style is delightful, but for a relatively small book (under 300 pages), I was bored after the first of three sections. The narrator is the least fascinating character in the book and yet the reader is stuck with him throughout. I might still try other works by Marcus, but this was a disappointing introduction to his work.
Meanwhile, I’m slogging through Philip K Dick’s mammoth Exegesis. It’s fascinating, but it’s also 900 pages and a bit like entering the mind of a neurotic, paranoid genius. I cannot imagine the time and effort the editors put into pulling together thousands of pages of notes, drawings, and rantings into something that almost resembles cohesion. It doesn’t help that I almost always feel compelled to finish reading what I’ve started (as a young reader, it used to be worse, especially with magazines where I felt obligated to read everything on every single page, including advertisements!).
If I had spent the hours reading this week, instead of on my iPad and Goodreads, I probably could have finished a couple of books.
New Words / Phrases
- salvific: having the intent or power to save or redeem (definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster)
- negentropic: bringing order to a disordered or entropic system (definition courtesy of the glossary in The Exegesis of Philip K Dick)