Monthly Archives: June 2010

work update

Deadline looming (not at the horizon, alas, but here over my head, Damocle’s sword/axe/shield and what have you):

10.000plus words.

Mentoring material: 1568 words.

This word counting? May seem banal, or petty, or even mediocre, because it should be the quality and not the quantity. And it is. But you need the whole haystack to be able to look for the needle, so that’s what I am doing, building a haystack.

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That weird falling head over heels for books moment

I’m in love with Cloud Atlas.

It started, like many relationships do, with a tad of suspicion, a feeling of ‘do I have to’, the reluctance to engage, because no engagement comes without baggage, luggage, burdens and heartbreaks.

But now, at page 181, I am firmly and madly besotted.

Will it end well? Or will it be just one of those fiery and torrid but short and despicable summer affairs?

We shall see.

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Just read and re-read

Finished re-reading We need to talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver.

It’s one of those books I picked up by chance, and read two more times in a row after the first time. This was my third reading. The emotional impact of the book is such (on me) that I still find problematic its analysis. If ever I felt LOSS pouring out of written pages, this is the book doing that to me. Bittersweet read, but I keep finding nuances I missed on the previous reading. It’s written in epistolary form, making me better appreciate the possibilities in the form. Quite strangely, I suppose, it’s a comforting read for me. Given the subject matter, I don’t think it should. It’s either an achievement of the book, or a failure in me. Here’s to reading it again next time I feel the need for it.

Finished reading Pavel and I by Dan Vileta.

I want to read it again at some point. The choice of structure, background and outside narrator are extremely functional and the whole architecture smoothly created, although I found it somewhat slow pacing in parts. I have the feeling a re-reading may be more stimulating.

Also finished reading The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy.

It does take you away with it into a hard land, other times, and strange tales. It does that. At some point I also sort of browsed through quickly a number of pages on the aims of God, and the reasons of life, and other more or less philosophical passages. There are a number in the book, and some work better than others. Quite a sad read. But also extremely poetic. Sometimes the way in which we read a book is dictated by the mood we are in. Quite obvious, of course, but also worth remembering it. I suspect I will read more by McCarthy.

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Narrative Sense

Hard and painful and shattering as it is, my brain keeps trying to make a narrative of my mother’s last days. Is this what writing is, in part at least? That part of your brain wanting to make sense of life, keep you sheltered, keep you safe, giving sense to what in the end is just a shamble of raw feelings tied in a Gordian knot?

Maybe.

(What sense is there in death, though. I wonder.)

Off to work. The Ways of Procrastination are Many.

I’m proud of the my fellow writers’ achievements. In as much as I am a prisoner in my own grief, I enjoy their forays into the writing world and its requirements (public readings, networking, and the like).

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some progress

7000 plus words on the academic chapter

1200 on mentoring material

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the evocative perfection of a sentence

When those eyes and the nation to which they stood witness were gone at last with their dignity back into their origins there would perhaps be other fires and other witnesses and other worlds otherwise beheld. But they would not be this one.

Cormac McCarthy

The Crossing

p. 74

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Reading

Just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s Negotiating with the Dead. I need to think about it and re-read before I can comment.  Atwood has written some of my favourite books, and others I couldn’t even finish.

Started reading  The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy. The lack of speech punctuation is driving me crazy. On principle, maybe, because the prose is like a golden web grabbing me and not letting me go, in as much as I am resisting it and tumbling and stumbling with it in places.

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