Thursday, May 21, 2009

time for a quickie*

ha, gotcha there, eh? but it's not what you think, it's just a quick blog before i go back outside. it's kristihimmelfart here today and that's a holiday--ascention day or something like that, tho' i like to think of it as a day in honor of everyone named kristi who farts, because that's funnier.

i just wanted to drop a quick line about the brief wondrous life of oscar wao, which we're reading for our new book club blog--hermit book club. i saw it last month in a bookstore, picked it up, read that it was about a fat dominican kid who lived in jersey and put it back down. what a mistake that was! it's unbelievably good. fresh, different, very right now (in the best way). junot diaz recently won the pulitzer for it and it is SO deserved.

for me, who would have written a dissertation on eastern european postmodern literature (if i'd gone ahead and written that dissertation), i find that it carries postmodern literature to a whole new level. it represents a maturation of postmodernity which takes the novel as a genre towards its next incarnation. it uses some of the devices used by the now unfortunately dead david foster wallace in infinite jest, but either those footnotes as a novelistic device have grown up now or diaz just does it better. it's like an infinite jest for the noughties (thank you, guardian, for that wonderful word)

although spanning quite a lot of the 20th century (i'm only about 1/3 in--and yes, it's so good, i couldn't help but write about it already), it feels like it captures something of the zeitgeist right now. perhaps it's due to the language itself, i don't really know (as of yet).

but i just wanted to share this and say that it's not too late to join us on hermit book club when we talk about this book next week. run out, get it now. it's fantastic. and as you can see, it's possible to talk about it when you haven't even read the whole thing.

* ok, that didn't turn out to be that quick, but i'm leaving the title for fun, like jules did earlier this week.


Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

Yeah, what she said (and I could never have said). It's funny, too.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

I'm almost finished with the brief wondrous life of oscar wao and you're right it is so good. Last night I kept telling myself, just one more page, but I couldn't stop. Now I'm exhuasted from staying up late, but I'm so close to the end.

Unknown said...

Need to get on with this, clearly, I've barely started it, and you're right, we're discussing it next week! NEXT WEEK!

rxBambi said...

I just bought it on my Kindle last night and started reading right before bed. Needless to say I stayed up much longer than I had planned. Trying to finish so I'll be ready for the discussion next week, but I don't think my insights are anywhere close to yours, I'll try tho. Like FM said, "yeah, what she said"

Anonymous said...

ummm, what did she say?

I really like it too.

Char said...

ok, ok, ok - I'll go buy it

julochka said...

sorry guys, i totally didn't mean to be intimidating and highbrow. i'm happy to be back to thinking in book critic/academic mode. i have lots of down-to-earth comments about it as well--as you'll see next week.

i'm only on page 109 and these are but my initial thoughts. :-)

can't wait to see what all of you have to say about it!!

Indiri Wood said...

I've actually caught myself sneaking a couple pages in at my desk when I shouldn't even have the book here. Whoops.

Sarah said...

I am about half way through but am also reading book 2 of Mma Ramotswe series and am torn between the two. Currently Mma. Ramotswe is winning.

Just Jules said...

Catching peoples attention with the title is half the battle of getting them to pause at your little spot in blogatopia! It worked for me now - only have a few moments, skimming titles and wham - what is Julie talking about? Love it

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