Ken Resting on a Snowshoe Trail at Home















Saturday, September 1, 2018

Late August--Labor Day Reading

Yes, I'm so out of the loop the past three days. So many of you have been reading up a storm and I've been cleaning and de-cluttering madly--absolutely insanely, so that it seems to me that you all have been leading intellectually productive lives and I have been merely sweeping up!

I do allow myself moments of respite. This past week offered about three days of unbearable heat and humidity, when my cleaning went minimalist and instead I trudged off in swimsuit to the pool with Chris Bohjalian's suspense thriller, The Flight Attendant, in my bag. Under ordinary circumstances, I'm sure I would not be as keen for this novel, and I know some of you thought it was relatively mediocre. But with my thriller-loving and undiscriminating heart still beating, and with my need for something not too difficult to read before and after swimming loads of laps, I've enjoyed the novel, although I will say I have a harder time when I find the protagonist not particularly likeable or unlikable, or as a person I can somehow find something to identify with.

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie is still claiming my attention, but I must say his imagination is mind-bogglingly boundless. (The link leads to a BookPage interview with Rushdie about the book.) This is my first read by Rushdie, and I knew his writing was very different. Oh, let's call it positively wild with exclamation points.

I read it first thing in the morning, with my first cup of tea or coffee, in bed. The novel requires the utmost concentration, I've found, so much so that I can only read about 20-25 pages at a time, maximum. This is because I'm not taking hallucinogens.

I wonder, I do find myself wondering, again and again: Might  Rushdie sometimes take hallucinogens while he is writing? After all, LSD is definitely coming back into vogue, so I don't think, based on the incredible leaps of imagination to be found in his writing, that it's unreasonable to just ask him to clarify the point.  And the countless allegories to every mythical culture throughout prehistory and history. Yikes! Not to mention allusions to obscure films, classic novels, and not so classic novels. I'm mentally exhausted just trying to describe the prose in The Golden House



10 comments:

  1. After a really busy summer with the grandkids I'm now planning a clearout of clothes and an autumn clean too. Think it might be good for the soul. :-)

    I'd quite like to read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushtie but have always felt slightly intimidated by something or other but have no idea what. So your views on his writing are very interesting.

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    1. Hi Cath,
      When I *finally* at long last get into the de-cluttering mood, it is very, very good for my soul. And the house. And things you want to do in the house.
      I'm so glad you had a busy summer with your grandchildren. Sounds perfect, and so lovely to have the memories and photos.
      Yes, Midnight's Children, that's the one set in the UK--oh, dear, I don't know where. Katrina said she read it. And I, too, have always felt intimidated by reading Rushdie, and with good reason, as I've discovered! He demands the utmost of his readers, but you know, I think this is a good thing. He's admirably unique.

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  2. Okay... you've made me even more curious about Rushdie's writing and The Golden House in particular! Will make note of the mental power required and choose my time accordingly.

    I'm back to Trollope this weekend... The Prime Minister, which is book 5 of the Palliser series. It's such fun to revisit old friends, but Trollope has already introduced a to a new one who may be shaping up to be an intriguing villain.

    Kudos on your de-cluttering spree! One is badly needed around here. Enjoy the rest of your long weekend.

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    1. Hi JoAnn,
      I'm taking a note that you're going back to Trollope. I know I've been missing all kinds of fun with Trollope. And I really want to dig into one of his novels. I'm putting him on my wish list for 2019. (I'm so far behind with my planned reading for 2018.)

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  3. I must admit I prefer Trollope to Rushdie. I suspect that as Rushdie had a fatwah on him for about 10 years (I think) then as he couldn't go out and about he probably spent a lot of time watching films and reading. If he's on anything he'll be keeping quiet about it!

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    1. Hi Katrina,
      I think you've got it. He must have been reading and watching movies like crazy--of course!!
      I've just got to start reading Trollope, as you know.

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  4. Rushdie kind of fell off my list of authors to watch a long time ago. I read Midnight’s Children, Satanic Verses, and one more, and that was it. I think you are inspiring me to go back for another one. I did enjoy his fantasy side, where reality just kind of warps into something else!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae,
      Welcome! I know EXACTLY what you mean about Rushdie's fantasy side warping into something else!!
      His writing is so different from what I'm used to. I've decided to just go with the flow and read on!

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  5. I was cleaning and sorting and repairing and organizing all weekend - so I hardly read a page either. Temporarily, at least, I can relate! The books always wait though.

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    1. Well, so glad that like minds think and clean up alike!
      What spaces were you working on this past weekend.
      I've been ignoring the downstairs and concentrating on the studio, my office, my bedroom, and the loft. Our downstairs needs some work, too, which I've been doing. More work to come. But vacation coming first.
      Do tell about your cleaning adventures!!

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