"Fatherhood was the immediate impetus for the journey that would become this book, but I'd been packing my bags for most of my life" (pp. 5/6).
As I b...more"Fatherhood was the immediate impetus for the journey that would become this book, but I'd been packing my bags for most of my life" (pp. 5/6).
As I begin reading this book I have been a vegetarian (no lapses) for 13 years almost to the day. This is where it starts.
I had planned to comment day-by-day (or rather chapter-by-chapter) as reading went on, but could not keep up with it. And I don't think I will be able to re-read it anytime soon, although that's exactly what I'm aching to do. Meanwhile, I urge everybody to read it as well. Read it, read it again, force it under people's noses. It needs to be read. (less)
Mi trovo a ripetere, forse banalmente, le cose che spesso si leggono a proposito di questo libro: tutto sommato Meyrink non è un autore di primaria gr...moreMi trovo a ripetere, forse banalmente, le cose che spesso si leggono a proposito di questo libro: tutto sommato Meyrink non è un autore di primaria grandezza, e forse proprio per questo (ci sono teorie al riguardo) il romanzo rispecchia molto l'atmosfera culturale mitteleuropea di quel periodo. Ma si tratta in effetti di una piccola perla che meriterebbe di essere più conosciuta, nonostante i difetti. Le parti migliori sono quelle su Praga, e in particolare sul ghetto ebraico. (e io ho comprato il libro al museo del ghetto ebraico di Venezia!)
Naturalmente il golem è un topos letterario, di conseguenza ogni testo in cui compare (per quanto nebulosamente, come in questo caso) diventa parte di un canone.(less)
I read the poem in preparation for the movie, I confess. Obviously I had already come across selections (everybody has) but never actually read it top to bottom (many haven't).
Allen Ginsberg was Walt Whitman reincarnated, nobody will question the cliché I guess. The high-pitched declamative tone, at once oral and heightened, the stretched verses, the accumulations, "I am America". And the beard. Crucially influenced by Kerouac, W.C. Williams, and jazz, Ginsberg eventually found his own voice, true, personal, outrageous, shining. He made various references to specific events in his and his fellow beats' lives, that may be obscure if wikipedia didn't come to the rescue. Histories about inspiration for single lines are in fact very entertaining, if one is inclined to check 'em out.
"who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver--joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses' rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too..."
The book & its publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti (but not the author) underwent an obscenity trial in 1957: which if nothing else proves that Howl was a watershed, era-defining work.
I chanced upon this in the library catalogue of my department at uni & thought 'nice, something by Paul to read on the train'.
Collected non-ficti...moreI chanced upon this in the library catalogue of my department at uni & thought 'nice, something by Paul to read on the train'.
Collected non-fiction pieces from NY papers & magazines. Some of it looked familiar and must have passed through my hands earlier in some other form; but since there are admittedly only 2500 copies of it around, I'm going to make a list of what you're missing.
Answer to a Question from New York Magazine (1995) The question being, presumably, "What first comes to your mind when New York is mentioned to you?" This is only a paragraph, but quite funny. An episode from Auster's childhood.
Why Write? (1995) Five episodes back & forth from Auster's life. The answer being, presumably, that otherwise these episodes would go untold. And you wouldn't want to miss them.
"It reminds me of something that once happened to my mother..." (1983) A recollection of Auster's meeting with Charles Reznikoff in 1974. As is always the case with Paul, the episode is filled with coincidences (his wedding day, an article he had written about Reznikoff, his first book of poetry...) Quite touching.
Twenty-Five Sentences Containing the Words Charles Bernstein (1990) This is the funniest introductory whatever I've ever read--or heard, for that matter. Auster manages to be obnoxiusly funny, complimentary and profound all at once.
Wood Box "Sculpture by Jon Kessler". I have no idea why it ended up here, or what has Paul to do with it. I can guess, though. See margin notes for a massive spoiler.
A Prayer for Salman Rushdie (1993) Or, I Could Be In His Place with a Fatwa On My Head. Heartfelt and moving.
Appeal to the Governor of Pennsylvania (1995) ... To save Mumia Abu-Jamal's life. Paul is more socially involved than one would think.
This shouldn't even be termed a book, it's that brief. But all the pieces are very good & my vote is given in proportion to the length. And none of you is going to ever read it, anyway.(less)