Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Auster, Hawthorne, Borges all these books have this focus on the inner workings of the mind, the philosophical side of life. These authors have come to be some of my favourites over the last few years.

I read a very intriguing short story by Hawthorne yesterday about a minister who wore a veil over his face. The man becomes a brilliant pastor but is shunned in terms of intimacy and personal contact. It is quite incredible that Hawthorne was writing about this over a hundred years ago and now we have Muslim women who pledge to do exactly the same. It is quite strange in that I know what the story was about but I'm still questioning what it was actually saying. What does it mean? What is the author saying? I can't help feeling that there is something very important to learn from the story and it is a good thing because I've already read it twice I will probably read it again.

Last week I bought Bulgakovs 'The Fatal Eggs' and whilst it is maybe not the best story I have read it is fascinating in the way that he has pictured 'the scientist'. The scientist has almost become 'the innocent'. His work was taken by a technologist and awful consequences resulted. Normally in science fiction it is the mad scientist, the tortured eccentric but here we get something quite different maybe I would suggest more realistic.

This afternoon I received my copy of Updikes 'The Early Stories' and I am very proud of it. There is a saga attached to this book. I wanted it last Easter but I decided I would wait until my birthday. When my birthday arrived all the bookshops told me it was out of print. I was devastated but they told me that in September the paperback edition would be out. I waited until September and this time a certain bookshop told me the paperback edition would not be printed until next March but I could still buy the hardback. I went home and did a search on Amazon.com and found I could buy an American edition for $17 plus postage. About half the price of a hardback from the UK! I got it today, 2 weeks earlier than expected and American writers are always better read from American edition books.

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