Book Monster

Conquering literature one book at a time
(to say nothing of the movies)

Technology and comfort - having those, people speak of culture, but do not have it.

Thomas MannDoctor Faustus

Spinoza: The Apostle of Reason (an excellent hour long docudrama on Baruch Spinoza if you have the time to spare)

I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.

Baruch SpinozaTractatus Theologico-Politicus

There are two ways of ridding ourselves of a thing which burdens us, casting it away or letting it fall. To cast away requires an effort of which we may not be capable, to let fall imposes no labour, is simpler, without peril, within reach of all. To cast away, again, implies a certain interest, a certain animation, even a certain fear; to let fall is absolute indifference, absolute contempt; believe me, use this method…

Joris-Karl HuysmansEn Route

205. The Group by Mary McCarthy
206. The Accident by Mihail Sebastian
207. I’m Not Stiller by Max Frisch (+)
208. En Route by Joris-Karl Huysmans
209. Laissez-moi (Commentary) by Marcelle Sauvageot (++)
210. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
211. The Lausiac History by Palladius
212. Theological-Political Treatise by Benedictus de Spinoza (+)
213. Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt (+)
214. Captains of the Sands by Jorge Amado
215. Castle to Castle by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
216. The Tragedy of Mariam by Elizabeth Cary
217. Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann (+)

I think this marks my final week of extreme reading — winter has finally shuffled off stage and my once prodigious memory is starting to break down under the deluge of books I’ve been throwing at it. The Sauvageot memoir is one of the more remarkable documents I’ve read this year although it is probably going to be better appreciated by the xx than the xy crowd. I also had a, frankly, perplexing encounter with Spinoza’s Ethics a few years ago but was pleasantly surprised to find his treatise a perfectly readable bit of philosophical business.

Before going back to sleep I imagined a plastic universe, changeable, full of wondrous chance, an elastic sky, a sun that suddenly is missing or remains fixed or changes its shape.

Julio Cortázar, Hopscotch