Epistemysics

Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

On the Mutability of Shortlists

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So I finished Catching Fire tonight, and thought it quite enjoyable.  Onto the next (and last) book in the trilogy sometime soon, methinks.  (I believe it to be under a pile of clothes in my bedroom.)  But this leaves me, dear reader, with the problem of finding a book to read next.  It is a problem, you see, because it involves trying to match my current mood (my mood on a weekly basis, as opposed to day-to-day emotions) to a book whose contents I know nothing (or very little) of.  And then I also have a feeling that I should read a certain book next – usually a classic one – rather than gorge on frivolities and puff; that each classic novel is worth five or ten modern page-turners, and so to not read one is an inefficient use of time.  (Even a modern classic, or a newly released and highly acclaimed novel (such as The Luminaries) feels less valuable.  This should not be surprising, though, for civilisation has sifted the classics, and so attach much more weight to them.)  Not only all of that, but the length, too, is of concern.  And the thought of who might see me reading whatever book I choose in the near future is a slight thought, too – I will not deny it.  (But it is a slim thought, a very anorexic cogitation.)  Should I, for instance, pull down Finnegans Wake off the shelf so as to have it strategically on hand for the NIDA interview?  (No, it is too soon to read it again; plus, let us be honest – it would look far too obvious a ploy, I’m guessing.)  (“Oh,” I might say, “this old thing?  Just reading it for the second time – Ulysses is a bit too tepid for me now, I find.”)  (If anyone ever catches me saying that, you have my permission to slap me very hard.)  Besides, I’m not about to read it a second time when there is so much else I haven’t read at all yet.

So who were the contenders for the next spot in my grey matter?  Sense and Sensibility, The Broom of the System, The Magus, Midnight’s Children, and Farewell My Lovely (by Raymond Chandler).

But in a twist of fate, I narrowed the list down to two: America by Kafka, and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  (Shortlists, it seems, are made to be broken.)

Bought Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn yesterday.

202/439 in America.  I have the Complete Novels, and this particular novel started at 201.

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Written by epistemysics

November 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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