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READIN started out as a place for me
to keep track of what I am reading, and to learn (slowly, slowly)
how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
The site is a bit of a work in progress. New features will come on-line now and then; and you will occasionally get error messages in place of the blog, for the forseeable future. Cut me some slack, I'm just doing it for fun! And if you see an error message you think I should know about, please drop me a line. READIN source code is PHP and CSS, and available on request, in case you want to see how it works.
READIN has been visited approximately 204,788 times since October, 2007.
🦋 A filthy bird is a happy bird
A mix tape (is mix tape the right term here? Something like a playlist but including readings and videos as well as music...) (and whew! there is something unfamiliar about blogging in English!): The ordering of the playlist is my own chain of memory (with proddings from others) starting from chapter 7, "More than love", of The ground beneath her feet.
Ormus speaks. I have been liking this novel while being rubbed a little the wrong way by the narrator's voice -- Rai seems a little off to me, a little cynical and annoyingly, smugly verbose. I found quite striking the short piece in the middle of this chapter that shifts into Ormus' voice, and into him quoting his father's voice. His mention of vultures and of Attar, and of Prometheus, got me into a "classical birds" frame of mind. Ormus speaks, read by The Modesto Kid
Attar's poem in Fitzgerald's stellar translation, The Bird Parliament. (This would be an amazing poem for reading out loud -- I tried that earlier and got about a ¼ of the way into it... I may have to upload a recording of this to SoundCloud.)
I'm also put in mind a little of Borges' mysticism, in a way I have not been by this novel so far -- the bits of magic in Rai's narration have been undone by his glibness. Specifically The Theologians I guess, though I don't recall there being birds in that.
Extending the playlist with some other references that come to mind while reading from the FitzGerald translation...
(of course) The Rubaiyat. That is an old favorite. I believe the "Parliament of Birds" is a far better poem than Khayyam's (a high bar indeed!) -- though still have not been able to get all the way through such a long story, one which feels like it should be read all in one sitting...
My name is red by Pamuk (which I str is where I first heard about the Parliament of the birds)
(again "of course" a little) Poe's "The Raven" and Borges' thoughts on it. The FitzGerald translation has a bit of the singsong metric rhythm that I love (that Borges disdains) in "The Raven". More sustained and more complex than Poe I reckon.
Caprichosos son los dioses
a nos lo castigan lo crimen de ser nosotros
nos vuelven en piedras, en escarabajos, nos dejan mudos-
al buey inmortal Prometeo lo desatan
y lo olvidan (y igualmente Isaac)
que deba eternamente sufrir
sin que a él ningún caso se haga.
"caprichos son los dioses" is flowing very naturally into English. I was happy to recognize the Rushdie ref, I really think of tmk as being in approximately the same ballpark as my own, in terms of his influences. There's also a ref to bd Napier, who I don't really know at all, should probably check it. And wrote, I would never have made the Prometheus-Samsa connection.