– finished

reading Point Omega. De Lillo’s book released last year. I enjoyed it. Apparently it is a metaphor for the American war machine psyche, as endorsed by various intellectuals I think, according to certain quick, snap comments I have read. I read it too quickly in a way that you can’t with De Lillo, but enjoyed his always wonderful way of exposing movement, character, plot and relationships through description, dialogue and diction.

So saying, I’ve only read two of his books, but one was the seminal “Underworld”. I’ve never been able to finish “White Noise”. Maybe when I’m stuck in an apartment room for a while in a country where I haven’t ventured out for a while and a former teacher has left it there on top of a shelf . . .  I never did read Jay McInerney’s “Bright Lights, Big City” though, and it was left there that way years ago when I was down in Shikoku. Big league player novels sometimes leave me cold.

I bought the paperback and the images for the paperback that I bought are all tiny on the Internet.

I wandered into Toyohashi the other day and checked out their English-books section. Not overwhelming, but not bad. Lots of books were half price. 20th century kind of modernist, post-modernist classics from people I hadn’t heard of. I picked up a few. And Paul Aster. Also got a biography on Haruki Murakami, because I do like him, and possibly one of his books, though I’ve read nearly all of them apart from Sputnik whatever and his newest one. I don’t think it’s been translated yet.

Also got the Dave Egger’s edited “The Best American Nonrequired Reading“. Looking forward to that.

I’ve been meaning to say that I finally finished Janine Burke’s “Heart Garden” about Sunday Reed and her very influential contribution towards all those Australian artists that we now take as part of our history – the Sidney Nolans, Albert Tuckers, Charles Blackmans, Joy Hesters, Arthur Boyds and so on.

It is exciting if you go to the Art Gallery of NSW or to Heide itself and just see how many of those artists’ works are featured, and how much they captured the time they were created in, and a certain essence of being an Australian artist at that time. Sunday (and John Reed, though for a long time it was her money) donated a lot of those artworks that we now take for granted.

Many probably would not have been able to survive without the benefaction of both Sunday and John Reed. Heide was an artist commune in many ways. Also entwined are affairs and suicides and love throughout. I often wish I had been born at that time, though of course, without money and being female, the obstacles would have been greater.

I wonder if there have not really been any great pushes since (or maybe I am just ignorant of them) because there have been no really long-reaching patrons and friends of artists as the two of them were. Sooner or later the enthusiasm dims, and life just catches up. It gets more expensive too – for creatives and patrons. It goes the other way for some creatives, and I really admire the ones who are so productive but don’t necessarily give up the day job.

I bought the book in Melbourne when I visited Heide last year and had read about a third of it when I left it on a plane from L.A. to Seattle. I had customs trouble at L.A. so I was a bit shaken and also jet-lagged and left it in the seat pocket in front of me. I ordered a hardback online, as it would have been first edition and was a comparable price. It’s a heavy book, though, so they charged me extra postage and sent it surface mail from Australia.

That wasn’t a problem, except that they didn’t inform me about the surface mail bit, which typically delivers goods in 2-3 months time from despatch. By that time I was on a flight back to Australia. I returned to Seattle in late February of this year, and was able to pick it up again, and finally finished it mid-March here in Japan. In this Internet age, I don’t read as regularly, nor as quickly as I used to. I read a lot more non-fiction – biographies and autobiographies not as likely to disappoint as a piece of fiction that is too esoteric or light.

In the other room, the one adjacent to where I type and part of the tatami rooms which make up my bedroom, this room, and that one, the sun shines through the window warmly. On such a day, who can resist putting out a cushion, stretching out, or curling in, and letting the sun soak into your skin?

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2 Comments on “– finished”

  1. someone somewhere Says:

    Tumbleweeds roll and crickets chirp as I consider how long it’s been since I finished a novel.

  2. theheartbeatsoftly Says:

    Sounds like the setting for De Lillo’s latest 😉 I think I’m getting back into them. Not interacting in a physical sense at present helps too.

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