grashupfer (grashupfer) wrote,


1. The Crying of Lot 49, Pynchon

Probably my best reading yet of this book. I got on a new Pynchon kick--not sure how--but it's fun tracking what Levi-Strauss calls tiny solidarities, the small bonds "that prevent the individual from being ground down by the overall society and the latter from being pulverized into anonymous and interchangeable atoms," as they appear in his work. Who cares about a Counterforce--it's the counterforces: small c and plural. The circle of children in Golden Gate Park, the high point of that wonderful passage at night in the city, are the best example in the book and the first of many in the long run of his work.

2. Remainder, Tom McCarthy

This is a strange book. Stranger than it is great, I guess. The first re-enactment is fascinating, and there is one detail that haunts me. The erasure or whiting out of a face to match the blank of an imperfectly remembered face. It fits that the book does not match its ambitions.

3. Soldier's Pay, Faulkner

Faulkner's first novel. Peopled with the mean spirited and driven by incomprehensible motives. How Faulkner could develop from this to his great novels inside of a decade stretches the powers of belief. Somehow he became inhabited by the spirit of Greek tragedy, but you'd never know it by reading this book. Save for maybe a clue: "... and Cadet Lowe, young and dreadfully disappointed, knew all the old sorrows of the Jasons of the world who see their vessels sink ere the harbor is left behind." Jasons.

Also from the start, his obsessiveness makes poems.

"His eyes were like two oysters."
"Her eyes flew like birds"
"There were two little flames in his eyes, leaping and sinking to pin points"
"Emmy's eyes were black and shallow as a toy animal's."
"His marble eyes"
"Cecily's eyes were green and fathomless."
"Emmy's eyes were fiercely implacable."
"Her eyes were unfathomable as sea water."
"Her glance was a blue dagger."

The word eyes appears 100 times in the novel.
Tags: 1001 books, faulkner, pynchon

  • (no subject)

    A run of fun re-watches. #871 - Knife in the Water (1962) So efficient even in his first feature. There is nothing wasted. It's a bracing example…

  • (no subject)

    I can’t believe how good Roadside Picnic is. Sad like Hemingway’s good stories and a voice like Chandler but also totally weird. This is the book…

  • (no subject)

    The Dougie stuff sure is some uninspired stuff. Episode 5 is not a very good gear shift. I'm not encouraged.

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