Sunday, August 24, 2014

Germaine Greer, White Beech: The Rainforest Years

'The forest is not just the trees, it is everything that lives in and on the trees, every fungus, every bug, every spider, every bird, every serpent, every bat... Morning Glories, Moth Vine, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Mist Weed and Busy Lizzie.'

Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad

'It may be that a crowd at a particular moment of history creates the object to justify its gathering, as it did at the first Human Be-In and Monterey Pop and Woodstock. Or it may be that two generations of war and surveillance had left people craving the embodiment of their own unease in the form of a lone, unsteady man on a slide guitar.'

Monday, August 11, 2014

Darian Leader, Strictly Bipolar

'Just as depression had been actively marketed as a disorder by those who purveyed a chemical cure for it, so bipolar was packaged and sold along with its remedy.'

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger's Child

'Sometimes a book persisted as a coloured shadow at the edge of sight, as vague and unrecapturable as something seen in the rain from a passing vehicle: looked at directly it vanished altogether.'

Chris Tsiolkas, The Slap

'Richie had a dawning sense that the fact that men loved kicking a leather ball to one another boded ill for the sanity of the human race.'

Saturday, July 12, 2014

C. K. Williams, Wait

'I allow myself the thought that though I'm probably to her again / as senseless as that table of my youth, as wooden, as unfeeling, perhaps there was a moment I was not.'

- from 'On the Métro'.

Pascal Garnier, Moon in a Dead Eye

'There was one point on which they were agreed: there was no way you could play classical music on a white piano.'

László Krasznahorkai, Satantango

‘knowing he wouldn’t, in any case, have the strength, however he tried, to resist this treacherous assault on humanity […], knowing this, he understood, just in time, that the best he could do was to use his memory to fend off the sinister, underhanded process of decay, trusting in the fact that since all that mason might build, carpenter might construct, woman might stitch, indeed all that men and women had brought forth with bitter tears was bound to turn to an undifferentiated, runny, underground, mysteriously ordained mush, his memory would remain lively and clear, right until his organs surrendered’

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mark Doty, Atlantis

Suppose we could iridesce,

like these, and lose ourselves
entirely in the universe
of shimmer - would you want

to be yourself only,
unduplicatable, doomed
to be lost? They'd prefer,

plainly, to be flashing participants,
multitudinous. Even now
they seem to be bolting

forward, heedless of stasis.
They don't care they're dead
and nearly frozen,

just as, presumably,
they didn't care that they were living:
all, all for all,

the rainbowed school
and its acres of brilliant classrooms,
in which no verb is singular,

or every one is. How happy they seem,
even on ice, to be together, selfless,
which is the price of gleaming.

- from 'A Display of Mackerel'.

Ciaran Carson, Exchange Place

'A car-horn sounded ceremonially and my whole being shimmered with the knowledge that the atoms of my brain had been forged aeons ago in the stars, billions of atoms forming dense thickets of neurons and transmission cables endlessly communicating, more active often in sleep than in waking life.'

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Georges Simenon, The Engagement

'Apart from the immobility of his head, which he wore on his shoulders like a foreign object, he was the same man who had been on the tram, in the Métro, and in the basement on the rue Saint-Maur: calm and measured in all his gestures, which seemed as prescribed as a ceremonial rite.'

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Michael Symmons Roberts, Drysalter

Nick Laird, Go Giants

Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black

George Saunders, Tenth of December

Romy Ash, Floundering

'Under the awning is a little table and a chair with the memory of a bum still in it.' 79

Siri Hustvedt, The Blazing World

Siri Hustvedt, A Plea for Eros

'The very idea of a library for me is bound to my mother and father and includes the history of my own metamorphoses through books, fictions that are no less part of me than much of my own history.'
- from 'Yonder', 28