Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sunday Morning: Coffee, The World's Largest Book, and Blogs
[Photo from The Guardian.co.uk, article by Mark Brown, January 26, 2010]
Sunday morning, snow on the ground but a hint of spring in the blue air.
Coffee with brown sugar and a dash of grated nutmeg.
Jean-Luc Ponty and Tangerine Dream on the airwaves.
The world's largest book goes on display at the British Museum in April: the Klencke Atlas, given by Dutch merchant Johannes Klencke to Charles II at the Restoration in 1660.
I want to walk into this book, lose myself in the lands it depicts.
I wonder if we'd find Uqbar somewhere in its massive pages?
While imagining that, check out the February issue of Bookslut. Elizabeth Bachner has an excellent piece on Dubravka Ugresic's Baba Yaga Laid an Egg (Ugresic is also featured in the current issue of Bookforum-- this novel goes on the lobster's tbr list).
Also in Bookslut this month-- a good interview of Maryse Conde by Megan Doll.
Conde on the truth of story: "You know, people will tell you that in places like the Caribbean, West Africa and so on, we have two distinct elements. We have history which is written in books about the white people -- how they came to Guadeloupe, how they colonized Guadeloupe, how they became the masters of Guadeloupe -- and you have memory, which is the actual facts of the people of Guadeloupe and Martinique -- the way they lived, the way they suffered, the way they enjoyed life. We are trained to rely more on our memories and the memories of people around us than on books."
The Quarterly Conversation has many good things (as always). My favorite this go-round is Tony Miksanek's review of Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist (trans., with afterword, by Peter Wortsman; Archipelago Books). Miksanek: "In the hands of von Kleist, paradox and dramatic irony are not literary devices but rather fundamental features of ordinary life."
At Cabinet des Fees, Erzebet YellowBoy reviews Ali Shaw's The Girl with Glass Feet.
*Canary hops from one foot to the other-- another book for the tbr list-- let us petition the sun for just twenty extra minutes a day*