Saturday, April 01, 2006

we received a delivery the other day. the delivery guy saw my congas and said, I should get a set of those, my son would love them. he said his son has a set of traps from KMart and loves to play on them. he sweetly spoke with pride of his son having played "Twinkle Twinkle Litle Star" on the xylophone in front of his class. his son, he said, is autistic. it was nice that the man encouraged the noise-making rather than lean on his son. too many normal people would feel stress about their child's intensity about such things as drumming.
reading Doctor Blooodmoney by Philip K Dick. I read Whatsis of the Alphane Moon recently, which had some cleverness but rather plangently obeyed those usual rules of novel necessity, that is, resolution at all costs. for all that, DB is a really fine evocation of post-nuke civ. Dick pushes too much along with character thoughts, but his sense of and sensitivity concerning the sitch is quite wonderful. I also read some interviews with him, that took place soon before he died. he was a wound up space shot, tho not in the messianic sense of L Ron Hubbard. His lucidities are compelling. he says he enjoys writers block nbecause, him being so obsessive, it affords him a respite. he mentions a 3 years period during which he wrote 18 novels, all of which were published. he was in a rush, no doubt, but there is an integrity to his work, his oeuvre, I mean. his characters are so much better than what I deem the average is lot in scifi. tho his science and situations are intriguing, Arthur C Clarke's characters are all pure duds. and that's a fair standard for the genre. the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson (I think) posited some beautiful organics but his characters are crap. and the list goes on. so Dick's character depth is to be honoured. a fun thing with Dick, his futures are circa 1979 or so. anyway, I am surprisingly glad I did this little jump into Dick's work. I guess I had ought to look into Delany now.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

my morning romanza began around 4:00, when the cat started knocking things onto the floor. cats are great. this subtle means is how he gets me up. sans doute if whatever hit the floor stays there, the dog will eat it, which is not always a good thing. I took the dog for a walk before 7:00. I noted that the Catholic church was already busy, causing me to realize that today must be Palm Sunday. Easter was always a rather insipid holiday for our family. I grew up in a Unitarian church, so the Christ is risen stuff is safely kept in a box marked Quaint Ideas of Others. that's what the Unitarians are about, respect for but not belief in the quaint ideas of others. there was decorating eggs, which I didn't like, the candy, which I did like, and a big dinner. I became interested in Easter when I made the connection to rebirth of the world. and when I started doing gardening, Easter effectively become whoopee. one hard winter years ago, I'd amassed a huge pile of snow from shovelling so often. ths pile was right on a planting of crocus. on Good Friday I got anxious that the crocus wouldn't survive till when the pile melted, so I attacked it with shovel and spade. and sure enough, on Easter, crocus appeared. I think that year Good Friday was on April 1. which I thought funny: He's gone! April Fools. anyway, later I took my bike out for a short tour. one of the sleepyhead Protestant churches rang out a hymn, sure, a dreadful one but still. I shan't have a garden this year, nor any bulbs, alas. the last couple of years my garden was largely on auto pilot, as we just didn't have the time or energy. I miss scrubbing around in the dirt.
I stuck Stan Apps' Blog into my personal, and not necessarily permanent, Valhalla. he lists his 10 favourite novels and bedad it looks like I aint read a one (well, I read half of On the Road. I've read several novels by Samuel Delany, probably all early ones, liked them all, but saw nothing that transcended the genre (and scifi needs to be transcended). I've read Rudy Rucker but not the specific one he menches, nor have I read the Dick he menches, but will soon. I've never read Dostoyevski, nor will I till I can comfortably and reliably spell his name. I am remiss with Kathy Acker, have only read a couple of short things by her. I feel novels can be a fruitful study for poetry, anyway, am tired of the insistence of genre boundary. my own list for fav novels would be college professor approved, I'm afraid: Moby Dick, Remembrance, Mrs Dalloway, Ulysses. there are batches of writers for whom no one work sticks out: Flann O'Bien, Henry James, maybe I'd put Woolf in this list. then there's Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey series, Tolkien... well frankly I'm not much of a list maker.