MJ Nicholls
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MJ Nicholls

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The Manuscript Fo...
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MJ’s Recent Updates

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki
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MJ Nicholls made a comment on his review of Metroland
Metroland by Julian Barnes
" I know. There must be something in the water. (view spoiler) ...more "
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Metroland by Julian Barnes
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MJ Nicholls and 2 other people liked Adam's review of A Minor Apocalypse:
A Minor Apocalypse by Tadeusz Konwicki
"A marvelous coming-of-death novel (can we coin Todskommtroman?), death of a person, a vision, a nation, ideals all around going up in smoke. The spurious measurement of the book against "actually existing Poland" misses the point entirely: he's a..." Read more of this review »
Borges and the Eternal Orang-Utans by Luis Fernando Verissimo
" For a minute there
I forgot the syllable
count . . . phew, remembered in the nick of time
"
MJ Nicholls made a comment on his review of The Tunnel
The Tunnel by William H. Gass
" Sequoyah wrote: "The gass has passed. :("

But his towering works will outlive us all.
"
MJ Nicholls rated a book it was amazing
Borges and the Eternal Orang-Utans by Luis Fernando Verissimo
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Senryu Review:

Borges stalker solves
Borgesian murder plot
with Borges himselves
MJ Nicholls rated a book liked it
All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler
All the Dirty Parts
by Daniel Handler (Goodreads Author)
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Senryu Review:

Teen Casanova
courts Portuguese femme savante—
a middle-aged yoofslap.
MJ Nicholls rated a book really liked it
Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov
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Senryu Review:

Dystopian farce
wrapped in arcane allusive
ramblings of splendour.
MJ Nicholls rated a book it was amazing
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński
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Senryu Review:

A wartime childhood
of persecution and pain
in fable-like prose.
More of MJ's books…
Gilbert Sorrentino
“All I do know, for certain, after 53 years in this business, is that writers who sincerely think that their language can represent reality ought to be plumbers.”
Gilbert Sorrentino

Émile Zola
“From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The first few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still a chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas begin to look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s finished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of the gentleman who goes into ecstasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a porter dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back . . . Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more finished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed filled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!”
Émile Zola, The Masterpiece

Anthony Burgess
“Their hair belonged to some middle crinal zone between aseptic nord and latinindian jetwalled lousehouse.”
Anthony Burgess, The Clockwork Testament, Or, Enderby's End

William H. Gass
“We must take our sentences seriously, which means we must understand them philosophically, and the odd thing is that the few who do, who take them with utter sober seriousness, the utter sober seriousness of right-wing parsons and political saviors, the owners of Pomeranians, are the liars who want to be believed, the novelists and poets, who know that the creatures they imagine have no other being than the sounding syllables which the reader will speak into his own weary and distracted head. There are no magic words. To say the words is magical enough.”
William H. Gass, The World Within the Word

Fernando del Paso
“This is a work of fiction.
If certain characters resemble people in real life, it is because certain people in real life resemble characters from a novel.
Nobody, therefore, is entitled to feel included in this book.
Nobody, by the same token, to feel excluded.”
Fernando Del Paso, Palinuro de México

Reading Lists (Select)
2 chapters   —   updated Nov 22, 2016 01:50AM
Description: For reference, to avoid clogging my to-read list.
80277 The Kindred Spirits — 296 members — last activity May 25, 2017 06:17AM
Place to meet and talk about anything.
79311 Completists' Club — 381 members — last activity Jan 12, 2019 06:29AM
A group for those attempting to complete, or who have completed, the canons of their favourite writers. Share your canon-wide knowledge and opinion wi ...more
97302 The BURIED Book Club — 503 members — last activity 3 hours, 26 min ago
TODAY BOOKS ARE NOT BURNED. THEY ARE BURIED. WE SHALL UNEARTH THEM.
88667 Alexander Theroux Ville — 71 members — last activity Dec 02, 2018 06:48AM
The Theroux revival continues. This group counts as a village forum for discussing the works of Alexander Theroux. Both scholars and the naive and cur ...more
118024 Dalkey Archive Press reads — 122 members — last activity Apr 15, 2014 02:17AM
Hi everyone, Join our Backlist of the Month discussions! What is Backlist of the month, you ask? It's something we'll tell you all about on Facebook a ...more
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