Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre

If you don't want to be uncomfortably aware of your own existence--the heat of your breath, the presence of your tongue against your teeth, the weight of your hand resting on your thigh, the stickiness of your eyes, all of this, constant and inescapable--then possibly, avoid this book. The story takes the form of a …

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, by Yukio Mishima

In this beautiful and dark novel, we read about a young man's obsession with the famous Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Mizoguchi, who is unpopular and ostracized for his stuttering, is introduced to the temple by his father, and eventually becomes an acolyte there. After seeing the temple every day, he becomes more and more …

The Train Was On Time, by Heinrich Böll

In another war novel by Böll that does not feature battle or action, a young soldier, Private Andreas, boards a train and is immediately overcome with the certainty that he will soon die. As the train rolls on, Andreas' certainty grows, and he even begins to narrow down exactly the time and place that he …

Vertigo, by W.G. Sebald: A dark view on memory

This book is about memory. But similar to the other Sebald novel I've read, Rings of Saturn, the true meaning of the book was not clear to me until the end. The novel features an unnamed narrator who may or may not be Sebald himself, traveling about Europe and reminiscing (also similar to Rings of …

The angle

Things don't always look like what they are... this picture could be an undersea growth, an abstract splatter painting, the shadows of some grasses, or a bare tree and blue sky. It all depends on how you present it, the angle at which you perceive it... I try to keep this in mind when writing. …