Books I’m reading
The Solitudes, John Crowley.
Borges: A Life, Edwin Williamson.
Love & Sleep, John Crowley. This is the second book in his AEgypt series; The Solitudes was the first.
The Divine Comedy, Dante, translated by John Ciardi.
Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar.
Metamorphoses, Ovid, translated by A.D. Melville.
The Solitudes took a while to grow on me, but grow on me it did. Here is a quote:
And then further on he had come forth again, from a larger story, about God and Heaven and Hell, the Four Cardinal Virtues and the Seven Glorious Mysteries and the nine choirs of the angels. All in a day, it seemed on looking back: all in a day he had stepped outside it all, with a sigh of relief and a twinge of loss and a nod of resolution that he would not turn back that way now even if he could, and he could not, it was too small to go back into, an intricate clockwork sphere that he would carry within him then like an old-fashioned turnip watch, which he could draw out and look at, in perfect working order, only stopped forever.
His character’s reaction is not quite my reaction upon leaving Christianity; I imagined Christianity then not as an “intricate clockwork sphere” but as a constricting and suffocating prison. Years later, Christianity looks more like the watch than the prison to me.
The Divine Comedy is, I am happy to report, good for me, and I am glad that I did not quit reading after finishing the Purgatorio. I am now just a couple cantos from the end and, I must admit, I just want the thing to end.