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Aug. 31st, 2009

Much better now. Friday evening I thought I simply wasn't going to be able to do this for another two weeks, physically or mentally, but what with the rain yesterday work was mostly (minus a bit of dusting and some 30 for the most part and not counting that annoying German couple who wanted recommendations for children's books five minutes before closing time, non-complicated and non-offensive customers) six hours of comfortably sitting around and reading. Walked home through a drizzle since I haven't had time yet to collect the bike (although OTOH I'm seriously considering at least occasionally leaving it at home in the future and walk, because that means some 80 minutes of Russian vocabulary on my iPod per day...), dinner, an ill-timed nap from 7-9 pm, after which I felt strangely dislocated and spent a good part of the rest of the evening watching bits of a German soap on YouTube.

Was supposed to see the new Almodóvar film with R. today, but since she's still sick took myself off to a long walk in the late afternoon, heading straight out of the city through the 10th district, then along the Liesingbach, finally ending up in Oberlaa, through the park, towards Simmering through the vineyards in the evening sun, and suddenly so full of energy that I didn't take the underground back, but walked all the way home again, almost bouncing along the Simmeringer Hauptstrasse with JB on the iPod, happier and more energetic than I've felt for a very long while. Some 4 hrs. all in all. Also, map, because I clearly have too much time on my hands.

Finished Everville and started rereading Galilee, and sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who's reading Clive Barker because he invariably makes me feel better about myself, the world, humanity, ever since I bought Sacrament years ago when TR mentioned Barker in an interview and like the good NIN fangirl I was at the time I promptly went to some bookstore (pre-amazon days, or at least pre-me-&-amazon days when you still had to rely on whatever novels the English section of a Viennese bookshop would carry; sometimes it's downright scary how fast things are changing...) and picked up the first, er, only, CB novel I found there.

I don't know how he does it, but somehow he makes my too-literal and completely-lacking-in-imagination brain that ran smack! into some mental wall every time the therapist asked me to imagine myself in some kind of different situation, happily follow him as he anihilates all the borders between the real and the fantastic, horror and mystery, the physical and the transcendent, and effortlessly makes me - atheistic, über-realistic me - almost want to believe that the world is really such a miraculous place. Or at least that our minds can be.

(Also, I love his female characters. Coldheart Canyon isn't my favourite novel, but how many novels are there where overweight, obsessive female fans are sympathetic co-protagonists with a journey of their own?)

I also kind of wonder, sometimes, why every single author who's had a major influence on me, from Oscar Wilde to E.M.Forster to Virginia Woolf to Marguerite Yourcenar to Derek Jarman to Clive Barker to Thomas Mann has been (more or less) gay. Not that I think this is a bad thing, obviously, but I do wonder what exactly is the pattern here...

And speaking of books, there's finally a new one out by Eva Menasse, but (*sigh*) it's a collection of short stories. Confession time - I hate short stories. However well something is written, unless I get at least a few hundred pages to immerse myself in a story and its characters it just never seems worth bothering.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Which Clive Barker book would you recommend, for starters? I know his work in cinema better than his writing, he wrote/directed some of my favourite horror movies (Nightbreed, Candyman, Hellraiser). I've always been curious about his books, but never got around to reading any.

happily follow him as he anihilates all the borders between the real and the fantastic, horror and mystery, the physical and the transcendent - this actually reminded me of what I feel reading Lovecraft. :D
Aug. 31st, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Depends on what you're looking for really. If you love the movies I'd maybe start with the books they're based on; I can't really give a recommendation there since I only reread Books of Blood a while ago but none of the other earlier novels and don't remember them too well.

Weaveworld and everything published after The Great and Secret Show isn't horror as such, although it retains to a greater or lesser extent some of the horror elements of the earlier books; more a sort of metaphysical fantasy, tales of self discovery, stories about storytelling and the power of imagination. Sacrament worked well for me; Imajica is more complex and more fantastic, but a fascinating story. Or The Great and Secret Show/Everville maybe, but they're supposed to be part of a trilogy and the third volume is not even remotely in sight...
Aug. 31st, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
I use to not be a fan of the short story. But a great short story is a work of art. I also got myself totally into short stories due to 365shortstories issue of a challenge. Now I am turning to collections and anthologies like a bandit.
Aug. 31st, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Re: ouch
Oh, I know it's art. Absolutely. I'd never dispute that. But somehow I prefer longer stories to lose myself in...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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