weekly reading notesPosted: January 19, 2010
This week has me reading The Human Stain by Philip Roth. This is my third experience with Roth, and only my second Zuckerman novel, which means I have only scratched the surface of his work. Still, I suspect it will be a while before I’m tempted to try another one. What’s causing my reserve? Two things. First, two old men sitting around talking about sex doesn’t offer me much in terms of seeing the world from a new perspective, especially when the deepest thing either one of them manages to offer is that the ability to talk about sex means they are true friends. And second, I believe I need some more time with Zuckerman before I’ll feel comfortable with his presence as a literary device. I’m hoping his pertinence to the larger story will become clearer, but at the moment he feels superfluous. Why does the story (or any of the Zuckerman novels) need this additional filter?
My South American reading project continues with Augusto Monterroso’s collection of fables The Black Sheep. These are short, eccentric little tales with surprising moral lessons and twists. Easy to pick up and put down, but also fun to take apart to see what larger idea Monterroso was trying to express.
Finally, I decided to try Anthony Trollope for the first time and got all six of the Barsetshire novels. I’ve dug in to The Warden but it is far too early for me to venture an opinion…