Random reading

The reading lately has been eclectic: a family member gave me The Rejection Collection, an excellent and hilarious book of frequently contrarian cartoons. I picked up Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising from the library, where it was swiftly returned when I finished it; the style is straight from a poorly written technical manual on human emotion and idiocy in war, but a post on some of the interesting aspects of it 20 years after its first publication will be forthcoming. I can only hope that admitting reading it won’t kill my credibility.

Then there were two melancholy and elegiac Big Fiction works from Britain: The Sea and Atonement, neither of which need much introduction given their fame, prizes and praise.

Finally, I also checked out George Trow’s Within the Context of No Context after reading about it in The New Yorker. The essay itself certainly doesn’t have any context: aside from decrying the depravations of pop culture and lamenting some form of old order, I’m not sure what it was about. If the world doesn’t make sense anymore—a point I’m not about to take sides on—that’s no reason to imitate one’s view of the world in writing.

Oh, and television is bad—very, very bad. That much was evident. What’s good? That wasn’t so evident, but I guess we need context to find it. Perhaps context is good. It might be. It’s hard to tell from this essay. Getting it from the library was also a wise choice.

I’m going on a trip shortly and will probably start Robert Fagles’ translation of The Odyssey after. Reading it is supposed to be an odyssey in and of itself. I hope it’s a worthwhile one.

%d bloggers like this: