Twilight Zone music, please

How weird is this?

I wrote a post a few days ago about Terry Eagleton's new book on The Meaning of Life.

And then I cited Bahktin in a post on Don Quixote.

And now I see this: Terry Eagleton reviewing a book about Bahktin.

My mind is officially blown.

Thoughts for Thursday - What's in the news

I thought I'd try something new here, and that is tying current events to fiction.

What's in the news: Bush heads for Constitutional Showdown. (And, we hope, impeachment or, better yet, jail.) Illegal wiretapping, executive powers run amok, secret government projects with no Congressional oversight -- all leading to another round of tugging at our poor old Constitution to see how far it will stretch before breaking. It all sounds too familiar....

Literary precedent: All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. A great read, even if we know the outcome. Watergate coverage got me into journalism school. Not to mention I had a crush on Carl Bernstein. With Nixon, it was the tapes. With Bush, it will probably be e-mails. Ah, life. Everything old is new again, isn't it?

Fictional counterparts:

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad. Imperialism and exploitation, anyone? For a novella, this book covers some big themes. I think Bush and Cheney could play Marlow and Kurtz in a film version. (Wow, what Francis Ford Coppola could have done making this film today: Baghdad Now?)

All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren. A great read, though I don't think Willie Stark (or Huey Long) had anything on the Bush or Nixon Administrations for dirty politics.

1984 by George Orwell. Okay, I haven't actually read this one (shame on me), but it was too obvious of a choice. Big Brother, indeed!

Any books you've read that reflect the news about the Bush and the subpoena showdown?


Tuesday travails

Just a quick note to say I'll be blogging erratically for this next week or so. My life is a bit out of kilter, and I'm trying to catch up.

Oh, I finally got the short story colllections of my avowed reading from my challenge: Jean Stubbs and Italo Calvino, to be exact. More in a future post...

Over the weekend, I read Sleeping Where I Fall by Peter Coyote. This memoir about his adventures as a participant in Sixties counterculture gives one person's view of communes and the perils of trying to "forge a new culture." I never get over at how idealistic some of the old Sixties folk genuniely are -- I grew up in the Cynical Seventies, after all. I am forever reading books on that era in an effort to understand how a huge swath of young people could really believe they could change the world...all seemingly by virtue of growing their hair, opening their beds and ingesting some drugs. I know that's simplistic, but then again, it is pretty simplistic to think you can change the world by changing the surface. Anyway, interesting read, more from reading between the lines than from the text itself.

So, that was a diversion from the real reading of Don Quixote, which I shirked for the most part. Oh, well. I loved all of the comments from my previous DQ post. I am intrigued by the reactions to my description of the "bloodless dissection" of the literary theorist I quoted. I stand by my comment, as far as my personal taste is concerned; I prefer to read the living, breathing text first, and then subject it to the post-mortem.

Finally, for anyone who is interested: July is my Neglected Books Month. I will start with The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, for anyone else who wants to read and comment along.

I also have some genuinely lost books on the docket (maybe I will decide that should have remained lost, who knows?), including:
The Weekend Man by Richard Wright
Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
Confessions of a Child of the Century by Thomas Rogers
Windows on the World by Frederic Beigbeder
Never Ask the End by Isabel Paterson

I also plan to offer some selections of Neglected Books that I've enjoyed, for others who may not know about them. I am hoping to get some candidates from all of you avid readers out there, too...more later.

'Til then, send some calming vibes my way!