Is it a 'Table-Talk' if I don't use Roman numerals?
Levi e-mailed me recently, pondering whether to start on Nabokov's Ada. William Grimes's piece on 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, in today's NYT, gave him pause:
Drop the bloated, self-indulgent “Ada” from an otherwise correct Nabokov list (“Lolita,” “Pale Fire,” “Pnin”) and insert “Laughter in the Dark” or “The Gift.”I can't argue with those substitutes; I might add: "Or Glory, or Bend Sinister, or The Real Life of Sebastian Knight..."
The Grimes piece mentions Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar; I wonder if this edition of 1001 Books still includes RB's Willard and His Bowling Trophies?
I actually bought a Brautigan recently—$10 for Sombrero Fallout, hc, with dj! On the streets of New York, baby! (Good bookseller on the sidewalk on Columbus in the 70s.)
Confession: I heart VN and RB but have not read Ada or IWS! Summer project? Who's with me?
Random thought: Start a list of 1001 essential books on this blog? Write to me [thedizziesATgmailDOTcom] and I'll post...
A list of essentials from Jenny D, including The Fountain Overflows. (Um, which I also haven't read!)
In the NYT piece, I concur with Grimes as to the other Powell books! I think those are the two best non-Dancers.
A little more Anglophilia might have been in order. Anthony Powell shows up with “A Dance to the Music of Time” — which is actually 12 novels, so Professor Boxall cheats — but I would have made a play for a few of the pre-“Dance” novels, like “Venusberg” or “Afternoon Men.”
Personal Days surfaces in Hoboken:
This edition of PD likes to go to Maxwell's and listen to Yo La Tengo! And is "for dog lovers"!
(Photo courtesy Hannah Frank)
Labels: PD Sightings