With unemployment looming only days away, it’s been hard to focus reading.
One of the books that i picked up from the library last week was Raymond Queneau’s Saint Glinglin. I’d been intending to tackle Queneau for awhile, because the Oulipo group is a favorite literary circle, and it was Dirda’s Bound to Please that had me fix upon Saint Glinglin. The comparisons to Joyce’s Ulysses and Mann’s Magic Mountain intimidated me a little, but Saint Glinglin is not nearly as daunting as those works.
Again, i’m only halfway through the boo, but i don’t much care. The first section of the book, with its near-insane, but unsettlingly persuasive, obsession with life in the depths of the oceans, has been one of my favorite things that i’ve read in months. It delves into biology and philosophy so entertainingly that i forgot occasionally that it was more than a pulp horror in the fashion of H.P. Lovecraft. A favorite sentence is, “It’s not the eclipse of the human I seek across species, but the dawn of the Inhuman.” The meditations on consciousness are weird and familiar.