31 March 2008

The Western Canon and Then We Came to the End

I finished Harold Bloom's The Western Canon over the weekend. Took me quite a while because it was pretty dense; not dense in the crazy-philosophical-theory sense, but dense in that Bloom quotes from a number of different works and you have to sort through the quotes and the thoughts to get anything out of it. I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I had actually read all of the pieces Bloom described. I've read only half (maybe, probably less than that) so chapters on Ibsen, Goethe, and Latin American writers kind of went past me. I started Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human and it will go much faster because I've read most of Will the Shake's plays.

I also finished Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (UI alum before he went to Irvine for his MFA). A really great book that observes the characters from the point of the corporate "we" (sort of like the royal "we") but doesn't distance the reader from the characters. You really start to care about all of them, including the crazy ones, so once you get used to the mode of storytelling the novel just flies. Props also to Joshua for winning the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers 2007 Fiction and also the Hemingway/PEN award.

Current book-in-progress: Beloved, Vilette, and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Current knitted item: The tan neck warmer is proving a pain because I'm having trouble finding the correct sizing (I'm looking for a men's turtleneck sweater - none exist in my pattern books because I never knit for men, or haven't has yet)
Current movie obsession: Network television is back (CSI: Miami is new for two nights in a row!) so my movies are suffering
Current iTunes loop: My order from BN came (as well as a BN Music store sale) so I've got plenty of new things to listen to - Sunday in the Park with George, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sweeny Todd (movie soundtrack - Johnny Depp, yowza!), and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

1 comment:

  1. Sunday in the Park with George is an amazing show. I cried the first time I saw it, and I normally don't cry during musicals. Also, the book you're reading about Shakespeare.... is that a biography or a book analyzing his work?

    -Jessie M

    (My blog is jessiemillerwriter.wordpress.com, if you want to check it out...)