(urth) What are you reading?

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen danielottojackpetersen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 12 06:58:57 PDT 2014

Just finished R. A. Lafferty's late novel *Serpent's Egg* (1987) last week
- mad brilliance as always. (Read John Williams's *Butcher's Crossing* just
before that - existential buffalo hunting, ya can't beat that.)  Reading
the stories in the new Centipede Press volume 1 of Lafferty's complete
short stories - whenever I have the chance to sit down and carefully handle
the book (as I usually have books thrust in a backpack getting bent up as I
read them all over the place in between everything).  Have already read all
those stories, but hugely enjoying revisiting them, especially in a quality
physical format worthy of them.

Realised I hadn't finished the last 30 or so pages of King's *Salem's Lot*,
so gonna round that out.

Recently read a 200 page poem from the Middle Ages called *Piers
Plowman*(14th c.) - it was for a course I'm in.  *Paradise
Lost* is one of my all time fave long poems and *Piers *has probably shot
right up there with it.  The latter actually makes a very interesting
contrast to the former in just about every respect.  (And to be reductively
categorical, I'd say Wolfe is more Milton while Lafferty is more *Piers* -
the former 'high' and the latter 'low', both genius and both
all-encompassing and stretching imagination to its limits, each in its
respective way).

Really torn about what novel to get into next.  Thinking of another King
just for simple fun.  Maybe Wolfe's *The Sorcerer's House* - that's the
next one up for me in the post-2000 novels I haven't read.  Maybe McCarthy,
maybe Michael Bishop, maybe Dan Simmons... I dunno.


On Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM, Antonin Scriabin
<kierkegaurdian at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello, Urthlings. What are you reading these days?  I haven't been reading
> much Wolfe lately, so nothing is fresh enough in my mind to participate in
> some of the other ongoing discussions.
> I am working my way through the Harvard Classics.  I just finished the
> fourth volume, the complete poems in English by John Milton.  *Paradise
> Lost *was a treat, as was Franklin's autobiography in the first volume
> and the *New Atlantis *by Bacon in the third, which is an old favorite of
> mine from my philosophy major days.
> I've also recently read *The Sea, the Sea *by Iris Murdoch, which was
> excellent, and *The City of Dreaming Books *by Moers, which was great,
> silly fun*.*  I also read the first 50 pages of *Lookout Cartridge* by
> McElroy and decided to put it back on the shelf for the time being.  It
> wasn't particularly *bad, *it was just entirely unsuccessful in grabbing
> my attention within a reasonable amount of time, together with being
> written in a very disjointed, unique style.  I will probably get back to it
> in the near future.
> Anyway, I am getting back on a Wolfe kick today by finishing the latter
> half of *The Island of Doctor Death, and Other Stories, and Other Stories*.
> Looking forward to it!
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Daniel Otto Jack Petersen
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