Monday, March 21, 2016

What I finished this weekend.

Finished Books, a trio:

Ruth Rendell's 'A Demon in My View'... really lovely writing... a mystery, a love story, unrequited and requited loves, a psychopath, a murder or a few of those... not overly graphic, but psychopaths cannot be entirely de-frocked, can they? A gathering of characters in an apartment building and their circling private lives, and the variety is slow and steady and percolating.  lovely.  i would read another.

James Frey's 'A Million Little Pieces'.... a story of addiction and rehab. not what i thought i was getting into, but still glad once i had begun.  first person, memoir-like, and it wasn't til i was three quarters of the way through, that i began to doubt the ability of such a 'rough' to do this writing, and to have survived, and to have had such friends. evidently, there was no little controversy about this element. but i liked it anyhow, for his determination to be separate from the 12 steps, for his faith in himself, and for the constancy of doubt from those around him, and from the reader.  I imagine I am not alone in suspecting his inevitable downfall, again, which is horrible and yet who really gets to be that lucky 15% who maintains and doesn't whirlwind down? can it be the famous author? the famous basketball player? aren't the golden tickets already gone?

David Douglas Duncan's 'the fragile miracle of martin gray'... what a strange little thing this was. so strange. haunting and both empty and full at once.  Martin Gray is a man who has survived what would kill us all. The deaths of two families, one to Concentration Camps and one to fire.  Fuck the Golden Tickets, right?  Who are the resilient? Printed in 1979, the sparsely prose-d book is full of photographs of Martin walking his dog, staring off into the distance, building yet a third family.  The writing is fluid, but mysterious, as if the content and the form were at odds. There are hints of religiosity, but clandestine ones. The author is clearly overwhelmed by Martin's continued 'life' in the presence of such tragedy.  I include here the photos of family #3... the photos are luminous, and spare.  so 70s. Who are the resilient?

The question of resilience is a big one for me these days.  It was a good weekend of reading, though the sparse writing in the Martin Gray left me with more questions than anything else... and sometimes that is good. I was able to hang with the not-knowing, as my phone was essentially out of use...