Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I'm still alive.

I just got back from Cabo this evening. Had a lovely, relaxing vacation. We stayed at a small, family-run hotel called The Bungalows. If you think about going to Baja, and you're not the all-inclusive super-resort type (i.e., you have taste and prefer a little local culture) the place is highly recommended. A great little getaway.

I'm too tired to compose a full catch-up post, but I will say that I know the vacation was a success because I can only vaguely recall what a tort is...

Beach reading? I plowed through Peter Carey's Theft and Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West.

The former is a great new novel by an Australian author I'd always heard of but never read. I picked it up after hearing him read a bit on some NPR show and his use of language struck me -- particularly the way he weaves literary elegance with vernacular bluntness and takes great care to keep to character when writing from POV. The plot is well spun, too, if lacking a bit in the wrapping-up and employing too much who-done-it chicanery for my taste. Worth a read because it's rare there's a love story that recognizes the role of the ego with true honesty, and Carey at least comes close to doing so here. I've now added his two better known novels, Oscar and Lucinda and The True History of the Kelly Gang to my sometime-in-the-not-too-distant-future reading list.

I couldn't even begin to describe McCarthy's work without using hacked words like "masterpiece" and "epic" that don't really mean much until you experience it. It's the ultimate anti-western written in a stylistic prose that I can only describe as ploddingly, unrelentingly poetic. It is the most violent book I've ever read. But the violence is a vehicle through which McCarthy attacks the most basic themes of life -- good, evil, chance and fate -- the themes of the epic. He bathes them in blood so that he can spot-shine them to give you a better look. If you haven't read this book, go read it now. If you have read this book, I want to discuss it with you. It's worth more than a read. It's worth a study.

Tomorrow I try to put a little order to my life before we're off again to Texas on Friday. If you're in Houston, let me know. I'll be there Fri. - Mon. Then it'll be Austin until the next weekend when I'll be on the coast at Port A. Then Austin again (Get Broke!) and then out to West Texas.


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