Friday, March 5, 2010

Do a little dance, read a little Jelinek

A couple of weeks ago over some beers, a few other Booksmithies and I were discussing what we do when we get very excited about a book. Me, I pace around with the book and do extensive Google searches about the author and the title. Mouth agape, very likely almost drooling. (Not over the prose, exactly; my orthodontist complained of my excessive saliva production. It just happens. Right now, even.) My friend fist pumps at good sentences. Another will shout "YES" preceded by a swear that I cannot type in this work blog. Again, this was a few weeks ago and we were drinking beer, so I fail to remember the rest.

So tell me what you do. Also, what's the last book that gave you an involuntary reaction?

Me? Well, firstly, I find this admission pretty (ok, extremely) irritating usually, but yeah, I have a giant stack of half-read books next to my bed. Working retail during the holidays after a BUSY busy busy fall events season, trying to have some semblance of a creative life - I hadn't had the ability to recuperate, to concentrate on anything for a stretch. A couple of short stories here and there, a few chapters then abandonment, so I'd been looking for something that could grab me.

Eventually I found it and with such joy. The Piano Teacher, Elfriede Jelinek. Writing so provocative that after she was awarded the Nobel, someone left the Swedish academy. So brutal, intense, has left me unwilling to read anything that is not sort of light since, but what smooth prose. Once I've recuperated from the idea of Erika, I will read the rest of Jelinek's work. I can't say anything smart about her, but just the most compelling illustrations of the darkest urges.

Also how cool does she look?

And negative involuntary reactions? Nothing too crazy. I have thrown two books after finishing them. I won't name those. And when I was ten, I was the editor of the short-lived satirical journal, The We Hate The Baby-Sitters' Club Club Newsletter (circulation: 3).

1 comment:

Carl said...

Kobo Abe's "Box Man"

So luminous you can read it in the dark with shades on.