Sunday, May 31, 2009

5 favorite short books

  1. Of Walking in Ice - Werner Herzog, 64 pp. I just read and reviewed this and it compelled me to do this list.
  2. Olt - Kenneth Gangemi, 64 pp. A delirious and distracted narrative of a complete narcissist, a compulsive list maker that cannot find a way to make to make sense of anything or anyone withtout them becoming line items. I read this as a part of a 20th Century Novels class twenty years ago and little scenes of it still stick with me.
  3. Remarks on Color - Ludwig Wittgenstein, 63 pp. This book is ostensibly about the properties of color and running the old philosophical bong hit about whether we all see blue the same way through his sweet form of philosophical rigor.
  4. i six nonlectures - e. e. cummings, 128 pp. One of the many things that bonded me to my friend Joe is that we could both throw out "The hellless hell of compulsory heaven-on-earth emphatically isn't my pale of blueberries" from memory, found on the first page of this powerful and wry set of Charles Norton lectures from the poet.
  5. By Night in Chile - Roberto Bolaño , 144 pp. This book seemed a lot shorter; I had it in my mind at 100 pages, but maybe because you burn through the dying priest's recollections, crammed into one enormous paragraph, like a spark traveling down the wick to the eventual explosion. My review of it can be found here.

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