Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

henry james, the oxbow incident, across the river & into the trees, peanuts, polysyllabic

Happy 2005 y'all.

So i was enjoying hemingway's Across the River and Into The Trees, a story about a typically hemingwayian fifty-six year old war veteran with significant heart trouble who's in love with a young (19?) italian woman. It's good, but not great. It's not Farewell to Arms. Hemingway is really good at internal dialogue, and gives a convincing idea of the internal space of a dying 56yo war veteran with a soft heart. For some reason tho, i put it down about fifteen pages from the end, and i'm in no rush to Find Out What Happnes, but that's probably more me than Hemingway.

I'm about a third of the way thru Walter van Tilburg Clark's 'The Oxbow Incident', which is basically a philosophical exploration of the idea of Justice (especially formal, legal justice) disguised as a cowboy story of rustling and murder. It's mostly well-written altho sometimes the veneer wears really thin and no matter how hard you try to look away, you're face-to-face with the Clark's outlined notes for the Points He Needs To Make in the story.

I'm re-reading Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I think this'll be my third or possibly fourth rereading, and also possibly my last. Jame's prose style is getting, as i read the book, on my nerves. His use of paranthetical commas, even for his era, is simply, not to be too blunt about it, infuriating. But the story is good so far. Probably the best ghost story i've ever read.

What else.

Kai gave me that new Schultz hardcover of the early Peanuts cartoons, 1950-1952, which i adore. I read it in My New Clawfoot Bathtub last night, soaking with just my nose and eyes above water. There's something about peanuts i just love. It's difficult to put into words. I think if you approach Peanuts with the assumption that there's a lot more going on than simple kid-jokes, that it's in fact a subtle and thoughtful strip, then it is. Well, these real early ones, where like snoopy appears to belong to Patty, and Charlie Brown, Patty, and Schroeder are the only characters, possibly the humor is more surface. But i still love them.

That's all for now!

Oh yeah, The Polysyllabic Spree continued excellent and entertaining right up to the end.



Post a Comment

<< Home