some books picked up in Austin

This is a little backwards, as there is another post stockpiled somewhere of books that i bought myself for my birthday, except that i got embarrassed by how much money i blew on books while i’m still jobless.

Nonetheless, i bought books in Austin, this time at the Half Price bookstore out on Lamar. Here we go:

  • Adolfo Bioy Casares. Asleep in the Sun. Yep. It’s the same book that i recently checked out from SLU, yet wasn’t in the mood for reading. That’s not going to stop me from acquiring all of Bioy Casares’ stuff eventually.
  • John Crowley. Dæmonomania. Have you noticed that i can now use nonstandard characters? Up until this new version of WordPress, which i formerly cursed, i’d managed to work around it by searching the word on Google, then copying and pasting the ñ, é, or whatever. Groovy. So, um…. Crowley. No, this book shall not be ready any time soon. Little, Big is still unfinished and this new purchase is allegedly the third in a trilogy anyway. The cashier saw this Crowley book and burst out with the confession that he hasn’t finished Little, Big, nor has his friend that he made a deal to read it with. He had the same problem, admiring the quality of writing, finding bits of it intriguingly creepy, and then wandering off to a more compelling book. I came clean with my Little, Big problem too.
  • Italo Calvino. The Watcher & Other Stories. It’s Calvino that i have not read, and this time i’m sure of it. (Difficult Loves is one that it seems that i have indeed read before.)
  • Witold Gombrowicz. Ferdyduke, Pornografia, & Cosmos. Three novels in one, published by Grove Press. This is the first book that i laid eyes upon when i walked into the fiction section, and i’m still giddy about it. Gombrowicz’s Bacacay didn’t wow me as much as i wished it could have, but it left a deep impression. Bill has written a few emails about his reading of it, as has followed up by reading A Kind of Testament, which has piqued my interest again. However, there is no way that i was going to seek his work actively at the moment. It was one of those odd moments in which a book almost leaps from the shelf to your hand without any effort on your part. The spine is not exceptionally distinctive. I just reached out, and it was in my hand. I had nothing to do with the action. Usually these are books that only appear in dreams, that turn to vapor in the conscious mind. Now i have one in my hands, that happens to be a real book (three whole novels really) by a real author, and i’m a little scared to read them, as the disappointment might be too much.

I also grabbed a paperback copy of Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners for Kat, as i’m weird about her reading my first edition, as it feels like the pages would be covered in spaghetti sauce, not that she’s one to sit around reading books slobbering spaghetti. That’s more something that i would do. However, i’ve bee n pushing this book on her for at least a year, but keep handing it  to her as if it’s made of snowflakes and spiderwebs.

Argentine literature

Three Percent has a post on Argentine literature, from the first person. Chad’s actually down in Argentina, talking to writers, visiting the sites of interest, investigating the scene past and present. This is an extremely cool and ambitious series. Could this be pursued with other countries? Obviously they were lucky enough to have someone attending this meeting, but this holds so much promise.

The post also mentions Chris Andrews winning an award for the translation of Cesar Aira’s Las Fantomas, published by New Directions, but i have not seen this yet. Is this the next of his books coming out in English, hopefully in the next couple of months?

edit: Part one that i missed earlier. Still working backwards thru RSS feeds.