Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I ask, I ask, I ask--

Found on Pinterest.
Could it be Lucas Cranach the Elder?
Or is that insane? Thought of "Princess of Saxony" hands.
Enough of the You Asked series for the nonce. It's time for I Ask.

What was the last thing you read (and the last thing you read and liked), and what are you reading now (or what is in the line-up for next)? 

New acquisitions this week: the late Christopher Logue's full version of his long poem, War Music: An Account of Homer's Iliad; Annie Dillard's selected essays, The Abundance. (The only other book of essays I've read lately is Mary Kinzie's The Cure of Poetry in an Age of Prose.) I'm already reading War Music. Prior to this, I've only read the also-titled War Music, a portion of the now-whole, or as close to whole as we will ever have.

Last book I listened to was Karen Savage's reading of Jane Austen's Persuasion. It's a LibriVox recording also on youtube as a single listen. I always thought that I liked Persuasion less than the others, but I was wrong. Maybe I'm finally old enough for it.

I'm also reading Robert Walser's The Walk (the translation of the revised version) and assiduously looking for the copy of Scott G. F. Bailey's The Astrologer that the naughty person who was going to read it aloud to us has deposited . . . somewhere. It's as if there's a terrible jinx on that book. But it'll be next, whenever found. My misbehaving eyes are better, and I shall read it for myself!

I'm also reading some Louise Bogan and Edwin Muir poems. And memorized another Yeats poem. I do want to memorize more.

Your turn. Tell.

19 comments:

  1. Ah, not quite as many as you are reading at once. Right now reading "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt and discussed with G why I agreed was Dickensian (said by reviewer on flap) and what Dickensian meant to me. And also what Joycean may be. (It has been many years since Lit class, however.) I just finished Lee Smith's "Guests on Earth," and just marveled at that one. I can tell these women work, work, work at their craft and I am so thankful. These two titles came after I read a pop novel, and not a very well-written one at that. I will not divulge the name, but it often read like SEO copy (which I have written myself) having a required number of adjectives or adverbs per sentence. Next up, maybe "Inherent Vice" or something I pick up at the library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. April! So glad to realize you are here... Shall have to see what you have been doing. I have read neither book, though I have read other books by both. Lee is one of the people I missed seeing occasionally when I moved from Chapel Hill. She's so wonderfully funny and warm. I've only read the first Tartt. (And so why did you think "The Goldfinch" correctly labeled as Dickensian?)

      I'm trying to make up for last year, I suppose, because I had so much trouble with my eyes that I read little.

      Delete
  2. Hmm, note from Connie L. on Facebook about not being able to post here... I hope that's not a problem for anybody else. Aggravation!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Logue book is basically great, yes? It sounds great.

    I have been all hopped up on Vachel Lindsay lately, so the last thing I read was General William Booth Enters into Heaven and Other Poems and I am now reading The Congo and Other Poems. Expect a week of Lindsay-blogging in the near future. A preview:

    Day 1: Wow, crazy!
    Day 2: Wild!
    Day 3: What is this stuff?
    Day 4: Outta sight!
    Day 5: He also wrote about movies!

    Good luck finding Bailey's book. It's worth turning the house upside down to find it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, read it!

      I have not read any Vachel Lindsay in a long time. I shall have to put it on the list! But it is a long list. And life so short, alas. Shall get to it.

      Delete
    2. Upside down will be about right, as we are crammed with five people's things, even though only four are in residence. ACK.

      Delete
  4. currently: matthew spender, "within tuscany"; coming next: virginia woolf's diaries(excerpts, i think...); and wilkie collins, "basil"... right now, anyhow; maybe subject to mister change who's always lurking about...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know how the Collins is! I've read four of his books (or many, as I have read two many times.)

      Do remember reading (reading at, maybe) the Diaries when I was young--when all young women were reading them.

      Don't know a thing about the Spender, though it sounds familiar. Shall have to look it up.

      Delete
  5. Currently The Door by Magda Szabó (surprising and beautiful). Just finished "The Knight of the Burning Pestle" by Francis Beaumont (crazy and great). In the wings: Treasure Island and Tom Jones.

    The Logue book does look great.

    In a few weeks, I hope, I'll start reading that second volume of Euripides I have been putting off. And then more poetry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am liking the Logue!

      I have read Tom Jones so many times! And I adore Kidnapped. Treasure Island is good, too, but I was thinking of rereading Kidnapped of late. Liked your description of the Beaumont on your blog.

      No Szabó. More for the list!

      Delete
  6. I hope you like Logue at least half as much as I did when I first encountered him. For some reason, he can get away with blatant gimmickry many other poets could not, because he goes all in.

    Currently reading Walden for the first time; some books about livestock and the Virginia barrier islands; and a wonderful stream-of-consciousness epic poem sent to me by a poet who found my blog and rightly discerned that I'd like his stuff. Most recently I read and enjoyed The Flight of Michael McBride, which is Midori Snyder's very cool blending of Celtic fantasy and cowboys, and the new issue of the literary journal Dark Horse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think you are quite right on Logue. I'd only read the "War Music" section prior, and I am enjoying it very much.

      You are lucky to be reading "Walden" for the first time. So many lovely things in that one. Who is the poet? Midori is one of my favorite online people, but I haven't read that one.

      Delete
  7. Currently, I'm reading "Mark Twain's Notebooks: Journals, Letters, Observations, Wit, Wisdom, and Doodles," a compilation in dire need of proofreading but otherwise pretty good by Carlo De Vito. Makes me want (again) to read Twain's Autobiography--and also his Joan of Arc. Much better for my spirits than reading about the rise of Hitler--have shoved Wm Shirer to the depths under my bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that's probably for the best, though those pictures were strong! Twain is so infinitely quotable. I do like the Autobiography.

      Delete
  8. Last thing: I cannot remember (with my memory in nearly complete collapse) the last thing that I've read and -- key word here -- completed; I've fallen into a habit of reading bits and pieces of all sorts of things but finishing nothing.
    Next thing: Finish something, anything, from cover to cover, even if I don't remember the beginning and middle by the time I reach the end.
    How is that for a perfectly useless, and unresponsive answers! Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Postscript: Last things finished were "Alice Doane's Appeal" (women as manipulated auditors and readers) and "Roger Malvin's Burial" (death and dishonor as inconvenient realities) by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

      Yeah, my memory comes and goes, which explains the need for the postscript. So it goes.

      Delete
    2. Ah, well, I do love Hawthorne and am glad you are reading him. Saw you were planning a Shakespeare and the Bible read, though...

      Good luck to you on memory. I've always felt mine was weaker than I liked, and I'm married to someone who has a very retentive memory. But my mind seems to remember some sorts of things well and to be completely uninterested in retaining others.

      Delete
    3. Yes, Shakespeare and the Bible are in the spotlight (e.g., see latest posting at my blog), but I took an evening to read a couple of Hawthorne's tales because I had promised someone I would read them. Hey, at least I remembered the promise.

      Delete
    4. Indeed. And no doubt you remembered more when you remembered Hawthorne! You seem to be navigating, despite the trials.

      Delete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.