By hand

I recently came across this interview with Mircea Cărtărescu, the author of my most recent favorite book: Blinding. And I was stunned to find that his elaborate, beautiful, overwhelmingly stunning masterwork of prose was written by hand, in a journal, and barely changed from its original state: When we had those very pleasant talks in …

The Blind Owl, by Sadegh Hedayat

Certain stories really stick in my head and haunt/influence me for years. This could be one of them. The story of how this book was translated, told in the preface to the book, was an interesting read in itself. Apparently the story was banned in Iran for many years, and there were several censored and …

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

Jackson is the queen of subtly blurring reality and imagination into a single, unnerving gradient. This story follows Natalie, a 17 year old just starting college, and her slow descent into solipsism and possible madness. The more you read, the less sure you become of what has really happened, and what has been dreamed up …

Oops I read a bunch of books and didn’t blog about them again

Wow, it's been a while! Here are some more books I read and some thoughts on them to close out the year Agamemnon's Daughter by Ismail Kadare I blazed through this one in two sittings, extremely engaging and also strange and upsetting. I picked this originally because I decided I wanted to read books from …

The poetry of Jorge Luis Borges

I've read his many stories off and on throughout my life, but never his poetry until this year. From reading his memorable stories, certain words and ideas have come to carry a lot of 'Borgesness' with them: Labyrinth, hexameter, tigers, algebra, chess, libraries, mirrors, coins--and this carries through to his poetry as well. This could …