Friday, October 1, 2010

The Month In Review and of Things to Come

It's over? All of September is over? Really?

As far as fun stuff goes this month was really terrible, but I did get a lot done as far as applications for school are concerned. I'm gonna try to get the application stuff done and off my plate as soon as I can so I don't have to be concerned with it any more and so I can hopefully regain part of my life back. My statement of purpose is almost done, I've taken the GRE (which I think is absurd for me to take on many levels) and I've tracked down people for letters of reference. Most importantly, I think I've narrowed down the list of schools I'm going to apply to. It will be nice to have all this stuff behind me, and hopefully I'll get in somewhere.

I didn't plan to get much reading done--well, at least not much non-academic reading done. I hit a slow spot with my first book of the month; which feels like years ago: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I hate reading people saying, "I couldn't get into this book." In my case I liked what was given right off the bat, merely I had a hard time immediately identifying anything resembling tension or conflict. Which, for me, makes for really slow reading. It was hard to put myself in the proper mindset to enjoy the book and getting to half way point was a chore, but once I was there, finishing the book was easy.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; and Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis were simultaneously delightful and cringe inducing. The charm in children's literature is so obvious after you read enough overwrought 'literary fiction' (and I'm aware that many would say what I call overwrought is indeed, a host of complementary nonsense.) Yet, every time I came close to enjoying myself too much Lewis was there to pull a "Dumas" and completely suck me out of the story; "Now we must return to Lucy and Susan." It was a poor transition in the 19th century and it's no better now.

To elaborate on my feelings further concerning Bronte or Lewis would violate my, "No talking about dead authors of the classics" rule.

The Ammonite Violin and Others by Caitlin R. Kiernan is a collection of short stories I also have ambivalent feelings towards. Water themes seem to unite the book, and so weirdo, introspective, rambling narrators who are so esoteric as to not want me--the reader--to actually take part in their story. Many of the story's were like reading someone's diary; to indistinct for anyone who isn't the author to truly connect with and perhaps too intense a reflection on a given moment for a casual outside to intrude upon without feeling creepy; perhaps that was the point. The title story and a few others, fall outside my complaints and were the ones I enjoyed the most. As for the others, I finished each saying, "Damn, she can write, but I didn't enjoy reading that story." Kinda like how I feel about Rachel Swirsky. There will be a coming post about my perspective of modern themes in feminist literature soon. As for the Kiernan, I should also say I haven't finished it yet; I've about a third left, and if you really want to know how I feel about this work I will tell you truly: I plan to re-read it very soon.

I also didn't finish Nile Shadows by Edward Whittemore; I'm half way there... This book is a train wreck and I'll elaborate on that in my Whittemore review month in November.

Other than finishing the PhD application materials, I'm not gonna set any goals for myself this coming month. I hope to finish up the remainder reading from September, see my friends, Langston, and conquer at least three novels. Other than that, things look cloudy with a heavy chance of rum. Oh yeah, I'm also not re-reading this post with my usual eye for concision because I'm exhausted.

There's gonna be a huge creative outburst soon. I can feel it. I've been sitting on a few short stories in my mind and I'm on the cusp of being a badass slide player. Whenever I re-discover free time four stories are gonna come out in a rush, or I'll be Duane Allman.

No comments: