Thursday, June 2, 2011

Aimless Reading: The N's, Part 3.1 (V.S. Naipaul)

Guerillas by Michael_Kelleher
Guerillas, a photo by Michael_Kelleher on Flickr.

Naipaul, V.S.
Guerillas


I am not sure where I bought this. Possibly the Fordham University Bookstore, possibly St. Mark's Books.

I first read Naipaul in college during a summer course called, "Politics and the Novel." I don't recall whether or not we actually read the book during the course. The professor put together an incredibly ambitious list of about ten or twelves novels to be read in six weeks. I recall reading about half, though I purchased the whole lot, assuming I'd probably find most of them interesting.

The book chosen for that course was A Bend in the River, which, alongside A House for Mr. Biswas, most people consider to be Naipaul's masterpiece. It was one of the best novels I read in college. So much so that it lead me to purchase this one at some later point in time, though I recall not finishing it, and I have no recollection whatsoever of its content.

In case you are interested, I am reading the following four books at the moment:

The Information, by James Gleick
Todas las almas, by Javier Marías
Amnesia Moon, by Jonathan Lethem
Field Work: Notes Songs, Poems 1997-2010, by David Hadbawnik

And I just finished:

Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
Los enamoramientos, by Javier Marías

The new Javier Marías novel is amazing. If you read Spanish, order it. Otherwise, put it on your list for when the translation appears. Kind of astonishing that after churning out Your Face Tomorrow, an incredibly rich and powerful 1600 page novel, over the course of the last decade, that he could follow up with such another work of such high quality. I guess that's what makes him great.

Lethem was recommended to me by my friend, Gregg Biglieri. I bought "Gun" at Talking Leaves and then ordered four more of his books used online. He's my summer project.

from Guerillas

The destructive urge comes on me at times like this. I want to see fire everywhere, when I stop and think that there is no hope of creative endeavor being appreciated, it is all for nothing, and on a night like this I feel I could weep for our world and for the people who find themselves unprotected in it. When I think how much I expected of my life at one time, and when I think how quickly that time of hope dies, I get sad, and more so when I think of the people who never expected anything. We are children of hell.

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