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. …

Admitting defeat

Well... I must embarrassingly resign myself as uncultured, and impatient. Swan's Way by Marcel Proust is just too boring for me to continue. I think I am missing something, because I don't understand the draw. It's not that I can't handle writing without a narrative, since I loved The Peregrine... but, the lack of narrative …

I miss Thinking

In my late teens I used to go sit in all night cafe's by myself and think for hours on end. I imagined ways in which the world could work, other universes, strange consciousness, other creatures, alien landscapes--all without a smartphone or even a book. Just free refills of coffee and my imagination. I miss …

Proust: Rambling thoughts, or more?

I've started listening to my first Proust, and it's not very engaging. It is interesting though. Mainly I'm thinking "this guy is just going on about inane memories that can have no importance to anyone other than himself, and yet this is a classic." I think that goes to show that you really can write …