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(April 19, 2002)

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Jeremy's journal

What was venerated as style was nothing more than an imperfection or flaw that revealed the guilty hand.

Orhan Pamuk


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A Year of Reading

I was looking back over the past year of posts I've written about reading, to see what I've been thinking about this year; it looks like 2008 can be aptly dubbed "the year Jeremy fell in love with Saramago." The great majority of my reading posts this year have been about Blindness, Seeing, The Cave, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, Death with Interruptions and Saramago's Notebook. And he has several more novels waiting for me to write about them in 2009! (Two other books I posted a fair amount about this year, The Passionate War and Fortunata and Jacinta, were both begun as part of a quest to understand Iberian history and literature, which quest has its roots in wanting to understand Saramago. And Saramago was partly responsible for making me want to reread Borges.)

I read a lot of Pamuk this year as well -- the author whom I spent 2007 falling in love with. The Black Book was a really rewarding, engaging novel; and McGaha's Autobiographies of Orhan Pamuk provided some useful context for Pamuk's novels. I'm keeping an eye out for new writing by and about Pamuk, to keep my bibliography up-to-date. I also reread Inferno in a (possibly misguided) effort to find historical background relevant to Pamuk's work. And I thank Pamuk for getting me interested in the history of the Armenian genocide, inspiring me to read Çetin's My Grandmother.

And what else? I enjoyed The Golden Compass hugely, and am looking forward to reading the rest of Pullman's work. Never Let Me Go is a beautiful novel. In Hovering Flight is a really promising first novel. Nixonland clued me in to the political scene around the time of my birth, in a much more detailed, careful way than I have ever understood them before. I did not write about it at all, but I quite enjoyed Annie Proulx' Fine Just the Way It Is. It was nice rereading Huckleberry Finn with Sylvia.

Too early for a post summing up the year? Perhaps. But it just seems like the right time for it. I'm looking forward to the new reading I'll do next year.

posted evening of Monday, December first, 2008
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