Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Book Bog

Credit C. She thought of 'blogging' about this phenomena. The title for it is mine.

In reading, I rotate. A stack of books, another stack, a third stack.

At the side wall of the room: auxilliary stacks not quite rejected, but not in favor, either. Waiting to get off the bench.

What keeps a book in rotation may come clear after some writing, though not now.

Now, just a mention of two books that have 'stalled', two that have been 'benched': Henry James's The Ambassadors, and a D.H. Lawrence collection on Italy.

With James, the difficulty of style instantly hits most readers now, and the difficulty in his later style is notorious. What can help his books are small chapters, smaller segments within the dense texture of his prose. The Ambassadors does not help in that regard. I've been finding the subtle behavioral hints in the characters' psychology take long paragraphs to gel, and the sections tens of pages per go. For me, not a reading 'for one sit'.

With Lawrence, the descriptive level is pronounced, with the setting, natural and man-made, articulating a world fully involved in the human story. Though these are travel pieces, the mood establishes the meaning for the place. Rich, richer, richest. Again, long pages of immersion, no quick 'break points'.

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