continued reading

I’m really enjoying reading The Recognitions this time. Also think it’s way easier to follow the 2nd time through—although I just hit the Greenwich Village party where we are introduced to the larger cast of characters.

My thinking has to do with where this comes in relation to the modernists and post modernists. (The scientific paradigm—does this book begin to convey the quantum? (Or is it relativity?)) 

Lots of fun. Quite readable too.

—strangely, I do “care” about these people and their lives.

I still have Madmen in my head to partially picture some of these scenes.

Lot 49 was writing about the early 60s in that moment

This one was written similarly about the postwar years but took 7 years to get written and came out in ‘55—I think he started writing this in ‘47




George Orwell, 1949

The Second 


Simone de Beauvoir, 1949

The Hero with 

a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell, 1949

Death of a Salesman

Death of a 


Arthur Miller, 1949

A Sand 

County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There

Aldo Leopold, 1949


Sheltering Sky

Paul Bowles, 1949

Love in a 

Cold Climate

Nancy Freeman-Mitford, 1949

Farmer Giles 

of Ham

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1949

There was a chapter in there where they mentioned the idea of "Inherent Vice" so many times that I’m shocked that I didn’t notice last time.

—now I need to get a chronology . . .

The film (Inherent Vice) came out Oct. 2014

I think I was reading the Pynchon novel early 2015

The bookclub did The Recognitions Fall 2016 (I remember spending my summer vacation with it at the original Sync Cabin in the Cascades—not far from where Jack Kerouac was a fire lookout . . .

Jack Kerouac spent 63 days during the summer of 1956 as a fire lookout on Desolation Peak. He wrote about his experiences in The Dharma BumsLonesome TravelerDesolation Angels and in a collection of haiku by the name of "Desolation pops”.


I think The Godfather takes place in 1945. Madmen starts in 1960—so even though it’s booze soaked, it’s too late.

—I think I need to watch The Godfather again. It’s a perfect movie.

I haven’t gone back and listened to our previous recording.  I will before we have our discussion, but I don’t want it to color my reading this time.

Hope you are all well :)

More 1949 . . .

The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir directed by Carol Reed, written by Graham Greene, and starring Joseph CottenAlida ValliOrson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Set in postwarVienna, the film centres on American Holly Martins (Cotten), who arrives in the city to accept a job with his friend Harry Lime (Welles), only to learn that Lime has died. Viewing his death as suspicious, Martins elects to stay in Vienna and investigate the matter.

The atmospheric use of black-and-white expressionist cinematography by Robert Krasker, with harsh lighting and distorted "Dutch angle" camera technique, is a major feature of The Third Man. Combined with the iconic theme music, seedy locations and acclaimed performances from the cast, the style evokes the atmosphere of an exhausted, cynical post-war Vienna at the start of the Cold War.

Greene wrote the novella of the same name as preparation for the screenplay. Anton Karas wrote and performed the score, which featured only the zither. The title music "The Third Man Theme" topped the international music charts in 1950, bringing the previously unknown performer international fame; the theme would also inspire Nino Rota's principal melody in La Dolce Vita (1960).[citation neededThe Third Man is considered one of the greatest films of all time, celebrated for its acting, musical score and atmospheric cinematography.[6]

In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Third Man the greatest British film of all time. In 2011 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine saw it ranked the second best British film ever.[7]

I’m pretty close to about 1/3rd of the way through.

—there is still time though. Climb onboard folks. It’s a pretty compelling book.

I’m curious what suggestions you guys will have on the other side.

Anyone else?

Last night I had a hankering to finally read The Parable of the Sower.

(I’m also curiously drawn to Dorothy Parker right now too. Not sure what’s up there.)


Time for a run or something.

Anyone ever bump into this?

—it keeps arising 


So on my run today, I listened to our previous talk on The Recognitions. (42 Minutes 249)

—it’s quite good. (I had a much better grasp on it than I remember. Of course, my thoughts this time, the 2nd time through are quite different. And I'm pretty much loving every second of it.)
I look forward to our chat! (I’m on page 341)
I have a little more busy work before I dig into a translating project, so maybe I’ll check out AR 168 . . .

Here is a quick update.

—I was about to say that this is the longest book we’ve done . . . but I don’t think that is true.

Anyway, January is almost done, but we are still deep into winter. The first day of spring is Saturday, March 20th.

I think that last time we considered this meeting, we were saying all of Jan. and likely most of Feb.

That is still the case. We talked about a late Feb. recording. My hunch today is probably early March, but we’ll see.

Read on, friends! 

Znore, you were mentioning that you were also reading The Idiot.

For some reason, I”m being pulled toward this 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning mega book:

The Goldfinch is a novel by the American author Donna Tartt. It won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, among other honors.[1] Published in 2013, it was Tartt's first novel since The Little Friend in 2002.[2]

The novel is a coming-of-age tale told in the first person.

Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century,[1] during and after the later part of the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) for Dutch independence.

I didn’t know that it would play so nice with TR . I didn’t know that it too was set in NY and concerned with painting. Hmmmm

Should be a fun chat were gonna have . . .

Take care all!

Ok here is a quick (Pulitzer) hot take . . . .

I’m 4 hours into The Goldfinch and I keep “noticing” the prose. My inclination is to give the work the benefit of the doubt, you know, perhaps it is written this way because the work is written by a 13 year old boy—and perhaps this is the case.

But it’s a long book, and it is definitely a novel of our era, and why am I reading it? and why am I drawn to it?, etc. . . .

The Goldfinch is a bad movie because it is based on a deeply flawed book

The Goldfinch movie flopped. But its problems go back to its Pulitzer-winning source material.

By Constance Grady@constancegrady  Sep 24, 2019, 4:30pm EDT

Maybe I continue, maybe not. Peculiar interlude I've taken here.

I just read the scene in The Recognitions where Wyatt first goest to Rectall Brown's, then Esther’s and finally Basil Valentine’s with his proof scraps. His talk is all over the place, but deeply comic (though also very sad).

I wonder what page that is . . .