My Curious Reading: A book report from the zero income front

My impression is that, when the average browsing consumer considers the self-published novel, quality is not her concern. By this I mean the question of whether she expects to find quality. We might (it’s been done) correlate types of publishing to shopping venues—take brick and mortar stores as the equivalent of traditional presses and agents; […]

Hammersmith (thirteen)

“Doesn’t seem so long ago.” Mack, unable to do anything about Aimee’s arm hooked through Hogben’s, though it pleased him to see Hogben once or twice give a mild tug, ill-at-ease…had got next to Shaw behind them (he ignored Shaw), and was throwing out chatty com-ments, in a louder than natural voice. “Curach, the man […]

My Curious Reading: Character Logic

 Let’s begin by splitting a hair. E. M. Forster, in Aspects of the Novel (Harcourt, 1927), gives his seventh lecture on the theme of Prophecy. He introduces a metaphor: “song” to represent the voice of the prophet; “the furniture of common sense”, to represent verisimilitude. Towards the end of the this section, Forster says, referencing […]

Hammersmith (twelve)

Her father hadn’t seen the host of faults, communicated in his offhand errand, the one he’d promised Mossbunker he would do himself. “Stage name, that’s the phrase you want. Ask her if it’s one.” Minnie Leybourne, Mossbunker the patriot would like to know whether you’re Jewish or Catholic…Lebanese or Sicilian, possibly. She’d said this to herself. […]

Hammersmith (eleven)

There were two types of men women fell for. Her weeding partner was of the third. Ralph had been. Inclined on their honeymoon to sit by the window, read the newspaper, and tell his new wife, “Go off, look at the stores, if that’s what women like to do. I’ll be fine.” Aimee recalled having […]

Billions

A 2013 Telegraph (UK) headline, based on US reporting, read in part: “…deadly pets murder nearly 4 billion birds a year.” Cats, they meant. For one thing, murder is an inflammatory word. By the same token, human beings murder thousands of chickens every year…except that we employ low paid workers to do the job for […]

My Curious Reading: Planet Earth and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Dr. Underhill said, if we would destroy insects, we must preserve birds. Birds which run up the trunks of trees, like the Woodpeckers, are of especial benefit. They dig out the larvae of insects from the bark and devour it. A Cat-bird would destroy a hundred caterpillars in a day. Where birds, even Crows, are […]

My Curious Reading: The Baron and the Bulge

Dialogue must be the most powerful type of writing. Most of us, I think, leafing through a book, see dialogue sequences as welcome action; we get from these a little pleased anticipation. Things are picking up. It doesn’t take that form of narrative known as the historical present to make dialogue function as real-time. Conversation […]

Hammersmith (seven)

He was lying as though asleep, his trousers rolled, knees bent, his bare feet under water. “Ah!” Ruby said. “Is it cold?” She thought she hadn’t meant to say this aloud. It was only that the flood waters had been so cold, like ice. The poor Professor, him with the French name, so grand, Mr. […]

My Curious Reading

Intro: In actuality, do we need customer reviews? People reportedly give a greater number of ratings in the four-star range than any other. We withhold a degree of our enthusiasm; we don’t five-star as often, and what makes a thing good, but not very good, fair but not good…we haven’t fully decided. We leave an unexplained […]