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Me and Sylvia on the canal in Qibao (April 2011)

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Even the denial of a true idea creates a space which vibrates with possibility.

James Hamilton-Paterson


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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

New Book! -- Just in time...

I read about half of The Planets last week before realizing I wasn't getting it... restarted it yesterday and over the last two days, I must have read the opening pages twenty times. It is just not clicking for me. Very happy then, to come home and find a new book in the mail from Amazon, Ondaatje's The Cat's Table -- which Juan Gabriel Vásquez said is one of the finest English-language novels of 2011. Here I go!

posted evening of April 18th, 2012: Respond
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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Something happens, and the scene is transformed.

The Cat's Table is an odd book. I liked it a lot, but without ever being sure just what I was reading. Most of the book, you do not get the impression that you are reading a story -- just some lovely and fairly disconnected childhood reminiscences. (Ondaatje has a note at the end, which I found gracious and helpful, saying that "although the novel uses the colouring and locations of memoir and autobiography, The Cat's Table is fictional.") As you come to the end, it turns out you have been meeting the characters and learning the setting for a swashbuckling adventure story -- and then in the final pages it is suddenly not that either, it is something altogether different and touching.

posted evening of April 23rd, 2012: Respond
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