Saturday, June 03, 2006

A life in books, or not

A literary blog I discovered recently is Tales from the Reading Room. The latest entry A Life in Books discusses the books that the blogger cannot dissociate from her personal history.
The memory of one enriches the remembrance of the other, and if I can picture myself reading, then I have the impression of almost total sensory recall.
It's appropriate that the first on the list is Proust. The memory of reading him must be, for everyone I think, indistinguishable from that of a long, hot, idle summer.
Proust's luscious, sinuous, long-winded sentences slow down the experience of reading, and the sensation I had was one of great spaciousness.
It's also the sort of post to which one immediately wants to respond in kind. The curious thing is that I can't. Not sure why.

The final book mentioned was unknown to me but I now long to get a copy of it: Adalbert Stifter's Indian Summer. Unfortunately the translation is out of print. All I know about Stifter is that he's distantly related to Reger, the monstrous critic in Thomas Bernhard's glorious Old Masters. He (Reger) isn't a fan.

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