Monday, October 23, 2006

Suggested List for Further Reading (part 1)

by Michael Duncan, author of Line Jester and Other Stories

10 things that you have not read and should

  1. Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson

  2. Though many breathless blurb-writers have made this almost a meaningless statement, this is truly a novel unlike any other.

  3. An Imaginary Life by David Malouf

  4. Lyrical throughout; one of the most beautiful last pages of any novel I have read.

  5. "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk" by Franz Kafka

  6. A barely-talked about Kafka story that is more touching than any story about the pointlessness of art has any right to be. Plus it has animals, and they're not cockroaches!

  7. A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem

  8. Reviews of imaginary and yet-to-be-written books with a philosophical bent.

  9. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

  10. A Canadian poet on how the page should reflect the ideas on it. Also the best epigraphs of any book I've ever picked up.

  11. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

  12. The secret fountain of the Latin boom. Garcia Marquez and Cortazar approach the quality of this novel on only their best days.

  13. After the End of Art by Arthur C. Danto

  14. How does one make and think about art in a world where so much has already been said, and the pressures to 'make it new' are ever-mounting to ever-lessening effect?

  15. "The School" by Donald Barthelme

  16. He has written so many stories in so many styles that this perfect 3-page jewel has been somewhat lost in the flood.

  17. Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

  18. This oral history of the Chernobyl incident is terrifying and made me cry, and I'm a cold-hearted bastard.

  19. Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata

  20. It is a testament to the power of Kawabata's spare writing style that a story really best covered by Ricki Lake becomes something, well, beautiful and sad.

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