Fantasy Shmantasy

  
Excited to have started Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest and greatest. This book provoked a good amount of controversy because he elected to write it in the “Fantasy” genre. 

I really don’t see why Fantasy sets readers off. “Never Let Me Go,” one of Ishiguro’s most beloved novels, clearly belongs to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy realm. 

All books are fantasy anyway, created in the mind of their writers. Dragons, retired butlers, teenage lovers — it is all the same. Love gained and love lost. 

More on that later, though, for now I have to say that what’s most surprising about the book so far is how evocative it is of Samuel Beckett’s dreary reality. 

God/iva

  
I’m back at “Sophie’s World,” with its textbook teaching of philosophy thinly disguised as an interesting read. Sound boring? Well, it pretty much is. 

Too bad I have a serious psychological condition whereby I cannot leave a book unfinished. It is called anal-retentive-itis. 

So deeply bored was I during the hundred page expose of rationalism vs empiricism, that the above passage made me chuckle aloud. 

It’s funny though, am I right?

First Book of the New Year

  
I’ve no idea where I picked up this old book, published in 1954. But somehow I came across it on my shelf when I was looking for something new to read. 

To start, I picked Katherine Ann Porter’s “Noon Wine.” Not only did I love the title, but I had never heard of her. A new author (at least to me) amongst such heavy, heavy weights proved irresistible. 

So far, so good. 

The Nobel Journalist

  
The newest Nobel Laureate, Svetlana Alexievich, is more of a journalist than anything else, which raises a significant question as to the meaning of “literature.”

Last weekend’s “Financial Times” published a piece written by her that approaches an answer. Since there is no one version of what is true, all narratives are essentially fiction, unequivocally literary and symbolic. 

The text above is a tiny sample of Alexievich’s forceful, condensed writing. And the meaning with which she loads every very real word.