Monday, April 04, 2005

Chrestomathy - doesn't it make you wanna smile?

I've been surrounded by words today, and I thought I'd use one I enjoy for the title of this post. It's mentioned in a biography of American newsman, H L Mencken, that I am slowly reading (as in, reading it slowly, a few pages at a time, because of work constraints, not because I have to read slowly due to my being retarded. I am not, to the best of my knowledge, retarded.)

The other words were jumping out from The Garden of Eden, the last work of Ernest Hemingway. It's vapid, it's more irritating than Hannah's hives, but was more easily cured. I simply took it into the back bedroom and added it to the infant pile of rejected works - this currently stood at a grand total of ONE - John Kennedy O'Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, surely one of the worst books ever subjected to widespread praise. I've found funnier things stuck to my pants after a train journey. Anyway, there are now two books in the pile.

The way the lights are switched out so quickly when Hannah is ready for bed, I wonder if it's a simulation of how Londoners behaved during The Blitz. My glowing monitor is now the brightest thing in the room, and will soon be attracting the opprobrium/verbal Doodlebugs that drag me into bed. Who can say?

I was going to expand on dismissing Hemingway's last novel. Well, let me put it the other way, if you want to read about a female character so vacuous she has a panic attack over whether her writer husband will like her new haircut (with no jokes included), who has some tedious issue over being a boy or a girl, and who is on a mission to have a very dark suntan, then, well, this is the book for you. Similarly tedious is the inordinate attention lavished on food and drink in this book. You get the whole sodding menu regurgitated. It's a relief when the character of The Colonel comes along, at least he has slightly different food tastes (he demands some anchovies).

Okay, I can hear the drone of Doodlebugs. Bed.

2 Comments:

Blogger anan said...

Whenever i'm so bored with what i'm reading that i could weep big tears of frustration, i always think of the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

Or the assembled works of Cotton Mather.

Everything looks readable, after that.

6:11 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

i just go back to Victoriana, essays mostly, from the Gutenberg project and http://archive.org

pre-TV, pre-PC world

1:55 PM  

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