Sunday, 3 February 2008

Recent Reading and Listening

I haven't done this for a while, either- this is a truncated reading list for the last month or so:

David Peace, GB 84: Peace is just mind-blowingly good, and I'm not going to add the diminutional qualifier 'at what he does' here just because his books are, nominally, crime fiction. I think he's very similar to Iain Sinclair in a lot of ways, in that his focus is on the way in which we lose our imaginative relationship with history in the detail, and come up with these paranoid reconstitutions after the fact. If that doesn't make much sense yet, it's because I love the man's writing so much that I can't really explain why. I will get there. My addendum to this is that Peace's novels are, rather surprisingly, great to read in companion with the work of Yorkshire/ 'Cambridge School' (I'm not affirming the existence of one, necessarily) poet Michael Haslam. Again, this notion is still at the intuitive stage.

Elizabeth Taylor- At Mrs Lippincote's/ A View of the Harbour: More 'Forties Mafia' stuff, and very good it was too. I might say more about this elsewhere.

Russell Hoban- Ridley Walker: Thought this was largely brilliant but for the fact that spending the last few years concentrating of 'after-modernist' rather than 'postmodernist' fiction has left me finding ergodic literature rather difficult. The ingredients are right, though: post-apocalypticism, Punch and Judy, not-quite-overwrought theology. I'll probably go back to it.

Eric Ambler- Passage of Arms/ Judgement on Deltchev: What's not to love about Eric Ambler? Have to say, though, that neither of these were in the same league as Cause for Alarm.

Graham Greene- The Heart of the Matter: I have a love-hate relationship with Graham Greene.

Dennis Potter- Ticket to Ride: So does Dennis Potter.

Can't really remember what else I read in January. I know there was more than that, though.

January listening included lots of Sonic Youth, Autechre, Broadcast and most Warp stuff. Best January not-my-normal-weekend activity was a trip to White Hart Lane to see Spurs take on Reading in the FA Cup. My Berbatov-worship is approaching the silly level now, to the extent where I've found the extravagant sulking creeping into my Sunday and Tuesday seven-a-sides. Ah well, there's a good, overdone closing thought: one 'plays' football like they 'play' a role in the theatre and that all footballing identities are fundamentally performative, especially the Roy Keane characters. I suppose we wouldn't need Judith Butler to tell us that....

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