3 Replies to “More Like This”

  1. If you haven’t read “The Siege of Krishnapur”, by J.G. Farrell, its themes are right up your alley, and it’s the best novel I’ve read in eons.

    I’ve been trying for a solid week to find time to tell you that (not the right place, I know, but all that’s available — and your friends might like it too).

    For once, a back-cover blurb makes perfect sense:

    “What a book. It has everything you could expect to find in a big old-fashioned novel or several of them — characters, suspense, military action, romantic attachments, satire, wit, tenderness, philosophy. In my family, nobody, from the age of eighteen to over sixty, could put it down.” — Mary McCarthy

    (She forgot science, religion, culture, gender education — it’s a very timely book.)

    By “big”, she doesn’t mean long — the width of the paperback spine is 2 centimetres. It manages to be propelling and absorbing at once, a very active and reflective book, whose subject in Farrell’s hands — “cannibalizing”, as he says, many firsthand accounts — is completely fascinating.

    (If you do happen to take a look at it, don’t read the Introduction beforehand. It gives the story away, and would ruin a great part of the pleasure of reading it.)

  2. If you really don’t have time to read novels (you must be mistaken — you say you travel?), I will offer you a poem.

    (Not instead, though — do try the novel.)

    Plovers

    The plovers come down hard, then clear again
    For they are the embodiment of rain.

    – Paul Muldoon.

    Metrically, musically, verbally, imagistically, conceptually perfect.

    It was in a book about three inches thick of his collected poems, which I was not cottoning to — the wrong way to make his acquaintance, in a slab, and the tones just weren’t what I could tolerate at the time, though I knew I could admire them.

    It amused me to find that in that very long book I knew I was laying aside for some time to come, there were two lines that would let me go, but not entirely.

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