This week Three Percent is serializing Margaret Schwartz’s introduction to The Museum of Eterna’s Novel. I think this is well worth checking out, as Museum has to be one of the most interesting, most difficult new books I’ve seen in a while.
“Difficult” gets thrown around way too often by critics (for instance, all those books Franzen called difficult: not really so hard), but in the case of this book I think it’s justified, as Fernandez was really trying to create a form that hadn’t existed before. The result isn’t really approachable from the traditional angles that . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Our latest review at The Quarterly Conversation is Daniel Pritchard’s take on Seven Nights by none other than Jorge Luis Borges. They are, as Dan puts it, “lectures-turned-essays originally given in Buenos Aires in 1977.” he goes on to explain that
The topics covered in Seven Nights will no doubt reverberate for any reader who has spent time in the company of Borges’s writing, because they are his most intimate themes, his personal obsessions: the Divine Comedy, the Kabbalah, the fear of mirrors, dreams, and nightmares, the Thousand and One Nights, the hidden machinations of existence, his . . . continue reading, and add your comments
BookForum has now posted its February/March issue online, and as you can see their experiment in free content appears to be over. (Unless they’re planning some bit-by-bit delayed rollout.) Aleksandr Hemon’s review of DeLillo’s Point Omega is among the free offerings. Also note Eric Banks on A Time for Everything by Karl Knausgaard, published by the wonderful Archipelago Press.
Sadly, one of the pieces not available online is Matthew Ladd’s review of The Museum of Eterna’s Novel by Borges-mentor Macedonio Fernandez, certainly one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I’ll definitely be . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I've been reading Harold Bloom's classic work The Anxiety of Influence, and I've come upon an odd quote. It's the kind of thing that sounds so right that I really want to like it, but I'm not entirely sure I understand what it means.
So, I'm throwing it out to the crowd. Anyone want to take a shot at unpacking this?
Cultural belatedness is never acceptable to a major writer, though Borges made a career out of exploiting his secondariness.
Based on Amazon purchases made through links on this website, the following are the "picks" of Conversational Reading’s readers for 2008:
By a large margin, The Invention of Morel was the most popular purchase among readers of this blog. Obviously, my sincere praise of this book helped move it along, but I’m convinced that not nearly as many copies would have been purchased if this wasn’t a great book, and if Borges wasn’t Bioy’s literary collaborator. A great read, and if you haven’t had a chance to yet, definitely pick it up.
Not really a surprise, . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel, reviewed at The Complete Review.
Sounds rather interesting:
The first point is the amusingly obvious one: that no matter how small the books in the Library, there isn’t nearly enough room in the actual universe to contain the library Borges envisioned (and that’s just taking into account the books, not the structure that houses them …). From the very large, Bloch moves to the infinitely small (well, thin), addressing the footnote that suggests a single volume could contain all that the Library holds — if it had "an infinite . . . continue reading, and add your comments