(urth) What are you reading?

Mark Lewin mark at marklewin.com
Wed Mar 12 07:37:56 PDT 2014

De-lurking to say that I, too, am on a bit of a Lafferty drive at the
moment, having just acquired Fourth Mansions and the collection Does
Anyone Else Have Something to Add? I really enjoyed Past Master a
couple of years back and I'm looking forward to reading more Lafferty.
Hard to get hold of in the UK though.

DOJP has written a few great reviews of his Lafferty explorations on
his blog recently, which I note that he's too modest to mention here :)



On Wed, Mar 12, 2014, at 01:58 PM, Daniel Otto Jack Petersen wrote:

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

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
<[2]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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