Sunday, December 16, 2007

On Dessaix and books for xmas

Reading Robert Dessaix turns on the neurons in my brain. It was cerebral indulgence as he considered topics from pornography to creative genius in his collection of short works,And so forth. The book was one of those pageturners where I felt a need to remember something on each page, making mental notes to reread or write down as I went along.

You know that feeling when an author so envelops you, reviving your perspective and mood? If you want an author with intellectual verve and a capacity to walk and wander through many stimulating paths, consider giving this Australian intellectual a go.

In other reading news, I was stoked to receive an early xmas present which entailed some seriously cool reading matter. I’ve noticed that as a booklover, people often hesitate to buy me books, thinking a) that I’ve probably read it already or (mistakenly) b) that I have too many books and wouldn’t want any more. As you would know, any booklover secretly desires another addition to the bookshelf.

My boyfriend, sadly, is working away on an oil rig this Christmas. So, he got me to unwrap my presents early. He got me the perfect combination – a picnic blanket and a copy of Nabokov’s Pnin so I can sit and read one of the novels I love. A great gift indeed!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Our Reading Escapade! Oh the urgency!

Reading Robert Dessaix's collection of short works And So Forth is an intellectually titillating and indulgent experience for me. Browsing the shelves of a bookshop that I often come out of empty-handed, I was surprised to discover a beautiful hardcover edition of this Dessaix gem. Deliberating due to dollar dramas, I bought it anyway because I suspect it may now be out of print.

Turns out, on the train ride home from work today, that it was a judicious purchase. One of his essays 'The Love List' resonated with me - as he urges the reader (us crazy bibliophiles) not to lust after a year of reading bliss. He talks about ever bibliophile's fantasy - time out where we can retire to say Patmos or our own reading haven to tear through those to-be-read stacks.

Dessaix is an exquisite Australian author and essayist. How true is his encouragment to pursue our own reading impetus and intensity:

'to acknowledge that you're doing this out of love -- don't be put off, don't be made anxious by people who press their own loves on you, amazed that you're not instantly seduced. What! they'll exclaim, you've never read Margaret Mead or Roland Barthes or Janet Frame or Dante? No you haven't, and possibly never will and in the grand scheme of things it simply doesn't matter'

As a guilty blogger who laments her lapse in posting, this validates the ebb and flow of my reading and reflecting. Recently, I've read some wonderful books that I'll have to share. I'm bad. I haven't blogged books. I'll never read 'the best book of your life' that I told a customer I'd sink my teeth into it. But really, does it matter?