Derik Badman's Journal

2022-04-10 12:43

I've been excited about my nightly reading lately. In bed by not long after 9 and then reading for up to 2 hours. I got through The Recognitions a lot faster than I would have expected, enjoying it thoroughly.

I briefly made a foray into Benjamin's The Arcades Project after having it on my shelf for years and years (LibraryThing say it was added to my library in 2007, which was I think when we entered all our books in there), but I just couldn't see myself actually reading the whole thing. The collage nature of it has its interest, but it was also, even in the first sections, repetitive and just not enough for me to want to spend the time with it.

Instead I picked Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle as my big book for April (maybe partly inspired by Drive My Car, partly cause I have this really nice hardcover edition). I read it many many years ago, but only vaguely remembered it. Like all Murakami I've read, it's very plainly written, narrated by a kind of regular guy, and filled with a bunch of weird occurrences. After the density of Joyce and Gaddis, it feels so breezy, I've galloped through it so fast, I'll probably finish it tonight and need to find a second big book for April (it is also only 600 pages, so shorter than my previous big books for the year). It reads like a detective story, with the protagonist as both detective and victim, where he ends up getting all these people to basically confess (or at least... bear witness perhaps) to him. The third part feels like it gets a little long winded and baggy as it keeps adding in more narrative voices (though most are still narrations coming via the protagonist as intermediary, not all of them seem to be). In the end, I'm not clear how all the stories about the Japanese occupation/war in Manchuria fits in with the rest of the novel, and the vague metaphysical, other dimension stuff feels lacking and ends in a way that doesn't seem to require all that precedes it.

Have failed, I am sure, to remember what movies I've watched recently, though not too many, as I wasn't really feeling like it too often, and did get sucked into Horizon: Forbidden West on the Playstation. That's kind of taken from movie time I guess. I enjoyed, more than I expected, The Last Picture Show, though I was most struck by the preponderance of Hank Williams songs in it (as well as least one Webb Pierce tune). I started and stopped a few movies including Pasolini's The Decameron which I just couldn't get into.

Yesterday we went out and bought some house plants, the first, I think, we've ever had. It's my job to figure out how to keep them alive.