The Memory of Old Jack, Wendell Berry

Gorgeous, sad, slow, sweet.  Another beautiful Port William story; old Jack and the end of life.  “We’ll take no trophies, no souvenirs. Let it fall like a leaf.”  Can’t help but think we’ll look back on this era and see Wendell Berry as one of the giants of American literature.

Feb 11

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer

Dresden AND 9/11 – not sure if that’s a resourceful parallel, or too much piling on for one story. Oskar’s story is sweet, funny, sad; grandparents’ a distraction (like some of Illuminated). Stephen Hawking’s letter to Oskar is lovely.

Feb 1

Antproof Case, Mark Helprin

Re-read.  Not so good as I remembered; Ayn Rand in better togs (sometimes).  Out damned coffee!  Winter’s Tale was better, more wistful, less heroic.  Helprin is the guy who writes fantasy fiction (lately) and also wrote Bob Dole’s best speech in his presidential campaign.  More troubling, has argued that “intellectual property rights should be assigned to an author or artist as far as Congress could practically extend it”.  Say goodbye to improv, remixing, and “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Jan 16

Reading, 2010

2010 resolution; keep track of every book I read this year.  Maybe even a comment or two, but mostly, just a record for my leaky memory.