Saturday, June 29, 2013

vacation reading ii

So for the last 2 weeks, save for a couple days in the City at the outset and a single foray into Queens for a friend's birthday party, we've been in some folks' definition of paradise – Fire Island. It's peaceful, even with several friends coming by to stay for whatever length of time. No cars, very little light pollution; the kids bike down the boardwalks on their way to & from the beach, & I swag back in my Adirondack and read.

Yes, some Ruskin – I'm made a big dent in The Lamp of Beauty, & finished WG Collingwood's very old – well, it was after all the first – life of JR. And some Wyndham Lewis, tho not as much as I'd expected. A bit of contemporary poetry (newish collections by Laura Wetherington and Martha Ronk), a run of master's theses that need final comments and suggestions before they go thru their ranks of signatures. But it's vacation, and I'm reading novels: two steampunk things by James P. Blaylock; Tom McCarthy's Remainder, which I've meant to read ever since Simon Critchley gave an infuriating keynote at Louisville a couple years back (it was supposed to be about something else, but then he punted on writing a new paper & delivered a prepackaged thing he'd written on his bud McCarthy – infuriating, yes, but it made me want to read TM); and Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory, one of those books I'd never have gotten around to reading if I hadn't seen it on the beach-house shelf, but surprisingly moving and of course beautifully written.

And then I'm re-reading "A", not perhaps for the uptillionth time, as one friend puts it – but let's say it's got the familiarity of a very old friend.

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