Thursday, June 18, 2009

For a Great Read Call Nick

Nick came over earlier in the week and brought a bag of books from his shelves for me to read. My favorite thing is to read a good book and have a good nap every day. When I work that schedule out I feel I'm living right. Oh I could find enough urgent chores to do every day, but the world will not end if I spend the whole day reading. And with a book as good as this, I can think of nothing better to do, unless it involved writing a book this beautifully written. I just started it to calm myself this afternoon, but I'm already hooked on the gorgeous writing and the WWI setting in a village in France. In case you don't do backwards (or mirror) reading, the translated title is By A Slow River, written by Phillippe Claudel (winner of the Prix Renaudot)

There is a translator's note that says, in French the novel is called Les Ames Grises--litterally, The Gray Souls. Just my favorite kind of book. I do not look for shallow, entertaining and commercial fare when reading books. I hate, positively hate Stephen King. He may be very diverting and grab you by the throat, but I prefer subtlety and depth to entertainment. Yes, dear, I know I'm a snob.


Paul said...

One of the first serious novels I ever read, at 16 (30 years ago), was, not surprisingly, "The Outsider" by Camus. I grew to love Camus' works as I never did with Sartre's works.

I will check out Claudel the next time I am in our local library.

BTW- In a literature course I did at a regional university in the 1990s, some of Stephen King's books were actually studied; along with Spike Milligan etc. Very different to the sort of texts studied at Sydney University in the late 70s and early 80s.

Utah Savage said...

I reread Camus when I was living in Italy. He was even better the second time around. Though I loved Sartre too, just not as much.

Oh the horror of hearing a university teaching Stephen King as literature. Maybe popular culture, but not literature.

Paul said...

Is it not one of the tenets of post-modernism that a book by Stephen King or Spike Milligan is just as much a significant text as, say, Hamlet?

Wait. What? said...

and a lovely snob at that - I think I will look for that book on amazon - I am in need of more summer reading material.

Oh and naps! I want to come back as a cat in my next life - nap all day long.

Randal Graves said...

Setting aside King's greatness or lack thereof, much of the same venom was directed towards Charles Dickens - for my dollar, a better writer, obviously - but like it or not, King WILL be part of The Canon® at some point.

Paul C is right, which is why at some point, postmodern saturation level is reached and I want to kick Derrida, et al in their collective nutsack. ;-)

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

well, I'm going to look for this ... darling, I have to confess that I've enjoyed my share of S. King's yarn-spinning. Not everything he has written is pap... some of his short stories in particular have been quite enthralling.