Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"There is only one school of literature - that of talent."
~Vladimir Nabokov

To take a leaf out of one of the blogs I have recently begun reading (A Light Inside), I would like to begin remarking on the books I'm currently reading. I hope this will help me to become a more disciplined reader, and also, I hope it will interest others in discovering, or re-discovering those books.

Thanks to the abundance of Christmas, I have a fresh supply of books. I am currently re-absorbed in Nabokov's Lolita. It is a book so far from escapist fiction, uncomfortably close to a nightmare but so very rich in thoughts that I am tempted to follow it with Dostoyevsky, merely to continue the immersion in insanity that Lolita begins.

When I need a break from Nabokov, and I want to wake and see and think I turn to The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and Modern Oblivion. It is a fascinating study of the choice of painters to paint a human and fully exposed Christ, both in infancy and in death, the meaning behind this exposure and the mistake modern critics make in either ignoring this exposure or assuming in it a certain artistic disrespect. The images used are exceptional and the writing is fascinating.

In the evenings, when I would rather leave off both Lolita and artistic criticism, I turn to Rilke. I have a new collection of his God poems and, sitting in my new rocking chair, beside the warm wood-stove, I can think of nothing better than tea and Rilke to pass the night away.

Blessed and good reading to you all.

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