Discussion → What are you currently reading?

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    Dorothee Lang
    Dec 20, 04:24am

    Share the books, stories, poems, blog posts, magazines and journals you are reading, in whichever language they are coming.

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    Dorothee Lang
    Dec 20, 04:39am

    this weekend, i started to read the new issue of 'Conjunctions'. the theme of the issue is 'Hybrid Histories'. it starts with a text about Samuel Beckett, written by Barney Rosset, his american editor.

    what struck me was that Beckett - an Irish author - wrote in French for a while, including "Waiting for Godot", one of his key works.

    here some lines from the Rosset's essay, following a letter he wrote to Beckett about an american version of Godot:

    "The problem of who was going to translate Godot into English was a thorny one. Perhaps when Beckett wrote in French, no one looked over his shoulder, and he could achieve a more dispassionate purity. Perhaps he was also angry at the British for failing him as publishers. His novel Murphy and a short-story collection had achieved little notice in England. Perhaps Beckett felt he was too lyrical in English. He was always striving to take away as many of his writer's tools as possible before having to cease writing."
    - Barney Rosset: Remembering Samuel Beckett

    i just looked, here's a note about the Conjunction issue with a passage about the essay: http://bit.ly/6UTPLX

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    Dec 20, 05:49am

    I finished a book by a German writer, Hartmut Lange and Nicholson Baker's nice "The Anthologist" last week and moved on to Christoph Irmscher's wonderful study of Longfellow ("Longfellow Redux") and Ishmael Reed's debut, "The Free-Lance Pallbearers", among many, many other texts. I'm very awed by Okot p'Bitek's "Song of Lawino" and started Volodine's collection "Des anges mineurs" last week, too. And..., no, I'll stop here. Too many books. Oh, one more, which is a really nice read, is Lina Williams' "Hard Core".

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    Kate Brown
    Dec 20, 02:32pm

    I just finished 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian' bu Sherman Alexie. Funny and sad. I enjoyed it very much.

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    Finnegan Flawnt
    Dec 22, 01:04pm

    i won't be on the net much during the next week because (1) my birthday is around the corner and i need to make mental and physical space for my traditional cheese fondue and for reviewing my life as a dawg so far; (2) this is (almost) my favourite time of the year for writing; (3) this is definitely my favourite time for reading, or rather, for beginning new and old books that i might or might not finish during the following year.

    current or on my xmas list:

    - ulysses by joyce. how: listened to rather than read, amazing recording by jim norton (naxos audio). 2009 was a year of joyce for me. i read and analyzed most of what he wrote and i'm reading "finnegans wake" on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis at night before i go to sleep as a wonderful catalyst for dreams.

    - fludd by hilary mantel. how: slowly. i started this over a month ago and i'm still 1/3 from the end of this book. i dont know why...the language is riveting, perhaps the plot slackens half way through. still a brilliant book so far.

    - wolf hall by hilary mantel. i think this got her the booker prize recently? i like my historical fiction at times, and this is my pick for this year since i only found out about mantel recently.

    - war and peace by tolstoy. read this a number of times. found a new translation, which i am very excited about!

    - the great gatsby by fitzgerald. i never read this and i'm not sure i'll be able to. my motivation is susan bell's fantastic book (via arlene tribbia - txs!) "the artful edit" where gatsby and the relationship between editor and writer are explored and dissected to help the reader edit himself. which i need to learn.

    - the idiot by dostoyewsky, which i read many many times but the last time is too long ago - recently i felt an urge to pick it up again.

    - the tragic muse by henry james; tried to finish this several times, now i'll give it another go. i love james' language and scenes but it's a mistake to read this in the evening after work. it needs concentration. a lot of it, at least i feel that way.

    otherwise i'll check in with fictionaut once in a while - to see what's happening in this and other groups (i really enjoyed the recent gertrude stein induced discussion over at matchbook) but no hard feelings if i don't comment on your story though you know i like your writing (or if you commented on mine which almost always makes me want to comment on yours)...this season is all for reading/writing/reflecting, a precious gift to myself. not to forget the flawnt family and family related travel. cheerio!

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    Finnegan Flawnt
    Dec 22, 01:04pm

    ps. i began writing a new novel, so...

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    Carol Reid
    Dec 22, 03:06pm

    Sounds like you know how to celebrate, Finnegan! Best wishes to you and yours.

    I'm dipping into a bit of Flaubert, Dan Chaon's first collection, "Fitting Ends", Ron MacLean's "Why the Long Face" and Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob Dylan.

    I'm hoping that some new stories are forming in a corner of my brain. So far, they're keeping a very low profile!

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