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Boy's gotta have it.


Jacob's Ladder and Mercy, the last two books in Jan Fridegård's Lars Hård trilogy. I just re-read the first book, I, Lars Hård, and loved it, which was quite a surprise since I don't remember loving it after my first reading, in the Scandinavian fiction class I took in college. (Still, something about the book must have registered with me, since I hung onto the book for all these years.) I found a hardcover copy of the latter book online for only fifteen bucks, and will probably take the plunge soon, even though another book is not exactly one of my critical needs at the moment.

October 26, 2014 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)


"Schools and universities ought to help us to understand that no book that talks about a book says more than the book in question, but instead they do their level best to make us think the opposite. There is a very widespread topsyturviness of values whereby the introduction, critical apparatus, and bibliography are used as a smoke screen to hide what the text has to say, and, indeed, can say only if left to speak for itself without intermediaries who claim to know more than the text does."
- Italo Calvino

This quote reminded me of Woody Guthrie's House of Earth, a 209-page novel published in an edition that also includes a 44-page introduction by the editors, plus a bibliography, discography, biographical timeline and acknowledgments page.

October 19, 2014 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laxness: no fan of hipsters

"No sane or healthy man had ever grown a beard. There was no conceivable work at which a beard did not get in the way. The only people who grew beards were men with tender skin, and the only cure for that ailment was to seize them by the beard and drag them back and forwards through the whole town."
- Halldór Laxness, The Fish Can Sing

October 16, 2014 in Books | Permalink | Comments (2)