Derik Badman's Journal

2020-09-08 08:20

Finished B.S. Johnson's Trawl yesterday, a long stream of consciousness monologue. The man is mostly narrating memories of his childhood and lovelife for some slightly obscure purpose about identifying his isolation. In the end it seems he is doing it to... feel better about getting married to his girlfriend? He is on a fishing trawler as a pleasure traveller which seems kind of crazy and mostly he just lies in bed cause he is seasick and occasionally interacts with the crew. While aspects of the memory narration were interesting enough, the present tense ship element seemed mostly pointless and the moment of the man's epiphany felt unearned (or unclear).

I started the third book in the Omnibus but ended up giving up on it about 50 pages in. This is another one of those cases were my penchant for completionism worked against me. I should have just stuck with the two of Johnson's novels I read and enjoyed, because I was intrigued by both of them more than any of these. Next time I'll just reread The Unfortunates which felt very similar to a lot of these but I found to be a lot more successful.

As our end of summer week at the beach approaches I've been gathering books to take along, since most of the week for me is just reading, though I also have writing to do. I will, as is usually the case, take too many books along, but it's better than running out (not that that is really possible with ebooks so readily available). The main novel I have is Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight and I've got more of Lois Bujold McMaster's Penric & Desdemona series to pick up from the library. There's also a book about ancient greek priestesses, Burkert's Greek Religion, a book on Caravaggio, a collection of short tales by Iharu Saikaku, a collection of Clark Ashton Smith's work, and a few comics. We've both been eying the 10 day weather forecast in hopes the week has nice weather, so far so good. Last time we were down (2 years ago) it rained/stormed the whole time which was not ideal since my favorite part of the beach is sitting on the deck reading while facing the ocean. I'm trying not to stress about the trip, though I always do when leaving the house for long periods not to mention leaving Buddy alone, especially after he's gotten so used to us being around with him almost 24 hours a day. I'll get over that once I'm actually there, somehow it is just the before that is so problematic for me (and often the travelling, but the drive to the beach is not too long and well known now).