Friday, March 20, 2009

A Bohemian Occupation

After several weeks of living a misanthropic and relatively chaste monk-like life, I have now devoted my time in peace reading literature, sipping cheap booze, and poking fun to my Friendster friends. If we are not yet friends at Friendster, please add me.

You see, I am now taking a much deserving break from flaming and other internet non-sense, which was kind of fun till both sides turned uncool. The trick is to be the most awesomest intense uncool and try to stay at it as long as you can. But that’s another story that has added further pollution to our Whirled Wide Webz, making some scholars busier on their on-going study of Anger on the Internet. Anyway, this is a break article and I am keeping up my word to Self to stay sober after dinner and write nothing but the best in literature, that is, well, for a change.

So with that allow me first to introduce you to some little secrets inside my room. First off, there are only two living souls who know where I am: my self and the ex-girlfriend. There is only one way to reach here and you would have to grope your way through a dangerous foggy little path, canal stink, fresh animal and human excrements, and the common danger of getting raped by tattooed men and fairies. I took this room four months ago because it was nearer to my former office, more spacious than the previous one, at the top floor with its three big windows, and, of course, because it’s cheaper. The first thing you’ll soon notice when you enter the room is the smell of brewing coffee, books, and a mixed aroma of cig smoke and brandy, with a tinge of perfumed soap. Aside from an assortment of classical and perverted movies, empty bottles of booze, an electric fan, a single bed, I only got a few articles of clothes. Most of them I gave away some months back to younger relatives or to unknown strangers.

Eating up much space in my room is my collection of books after some months of indulging to my vice of buying them cheap from Booksale shops. I piled them according to already-read-books, read-these-later and must-read-these-now. The first pile I put below the bookshelf. The second category of books is just cramming around wherein a promise was made some weeks ago to arrange them somewhere. The must-read-these-now books
I divided into two towers and put them where I can easily see them the moment I wake up and the instant I enter the room. This strategy works well to me by reminding me of my ignorance and to haunt me with guilt and remorse every time I wasted a single second of my life.

That said, here are the books I had read so far the past days:

Theodore Drieser: At the Gates of the City 1871 – 1907, by Richard Lingeman. A great-cool-turned-uncool account of a literary genius.

A Biography of Truman Capote, by Gerald Clarke. If ever I have a son and he turns up gay, I will try to train him to write like Capote. And we would both drink liqueurs as hard as we can.

If You Really Want to Hear About It: Writers on J.D. Salinger and His Work, Edited by Catherine Crawford. Don’t mess up with a recluse especially a determined reclusive writer. There’s good haven in reclusiveness. A very good book, very important collection of essays and scraps of biography of the author, and I haven’t got enough from it.

V.S. Pritchett: A Working Life, by Jeremy Treglown. Having the passion to write and being in love simultaneously is an equation of bliss.

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. Reawakened my lust for adventures.

Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell. Writing for the future is a kind of lol. I’ve tried several times to read 1984 and now I’d finally finished it. Quite wonderful.

Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway. Rediscovering the joys and silent sorrows of Hemingway’s prose. Devoured Hemingway novels during college days and I still not have enough. Fucking awesome bastard had killed himself. I got lucky to find this book at a second hand bookstore.

A Biography of Jack Kerouac by Tom Clark. Beautiful sad story of our old man Kerouac. Healed some of my extreme brooding tendency, and made me stop complaining over any circumstantial malady.

Underworld by Don DeLilio. This book is supposed to be good but it’s literally garbage and I can’t finish it. The prologue is excellent though.

Herzog by Saul Bellow. Reading Herzog is actually a bad choice on my part considering my present mental state, making me stagger to finish the book. But when I started reading it, I got already caught up by Bellow’s narrative powers and I cannot put down the book till I had read everything. It helped me understand more about my current situation though.

I am now almost through reading Philip Roth’s Ghost Writer, and next would be Gore Vidal’s Palimpsest: A Memoir, and the Biography of Robert Penn Warren by Joseph Blotner.

Well, how about you? Like to share what you are reading now? Put them at the comment below and we can keep each other posted.

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