Assorted Readings

14 08 2007

I’m about halfway through Maisie Dobbs and I am really enjoying it. I’m part way through the war section right now. It came as something of a surprise actually to find this flash back to the past in the middle of the novel because based on the second book I expected all references to the past to be as references or memories, not an actual section where we go back in time. I find the sections on the war quite effective and I was very touched by a description of a man saying goodbye to his son. When I read my last WWI related book – The First Casualty – I found the research of the era to be quite evident, but in this case I feel more in the era then constantly being reminded that I am reading a contemporary account of the era. That’s a problem with any contemporary historical novel, but I find it to be more of a problem with WWI since I’ve done so much work in the era and also because the “myth” of it (as some critics have termed it) is so well established and it’s hard to break through that expectation.

I’ve also returned to David Sedaris. I got through about half of Dress Your Family in Corduory and Denim months back when I was in my I-won’t-read-anything-but-David-Sedaris mood and then I took a break and I never went back. I picked it up again and I’m enjoying his writing just as much as before. Most of the pieces are humorous, but I found the ones I read last night quite touching in their own way too, especially “Repeat After Me,” which touches on family relationships and the betrayals of using those people and situations in your writing. If you are – like me – in a David Sedaris mood (or what to be put in one), here’s one of the many stories I particularly enjoyed.

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2 responses

22 08 2007
J.S. Peyton

I remember reading that New Yorker selection (‘Turbulence”) on the subway and drawing curious glances from other riders when I burst out laughing. Such is the reason why I love reading Sedaris. That and how, just when you don’t expect it, he can be surprisingly touching.

22 08 2007
sparrow52

Yes, that is precisely what I love about his writing too. There is the humour, but then there is also a connection or a missed connection or some insight that touches you in the most unexpected way.

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