Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Some greats

OK, so I'm straying from the Spokane theme. I'll get to it someday.

Try any of these gems and I guarantee an effect on your very being-no kidding!

All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren

The great American novel (according to me). Much less about the ‘dictator of Louisiana’ than a wonderfully lyrical meditation on a man finding himself. You guys out there got that?

Portrait of a Lady, James

Where James contemplates the contrast between appearance and reality and the perils of not seeing.

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion, Ford Madox Ford

Ouch! Sometimes it all ends in confusion.

Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence

Wow! Don’t let your kids see this-or better yet, make them read and discuss.

Sentimental Education, Flaubert

This guy can really write.

Money and leisure can be a curse. It’s kind of a 19th century predecessor of ‘Seinfield’ without the humor. If you read this-please tell me what you think-I absolutely need to know!

A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul

Is it all really this futile? I mean, the poor guy just wanted a house. But really, the novel captures the fundamental nature of the human condition.

The Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita, Swami Rama

Captures the essence of this beautiful, religious, hmm…no psychological work. It won’t necessarily make you a better person, but at least you’ll know a way (hint-it’s all about the yoga).

2 comments:

Scott Lahti said...

I plan to give my father a copy of ALL THE KING'S MEN for a late birthday gift, though I have not read it...don't miss the Ken Russell film version of WOMEN IN LOVE with Oliver Reed, Alan Bates and Glenda Jackson; from IMDb:

"Ken Russell: [on famous male nude wrestling scene from Women In Love]
'Of course Oliver cheated a bit - between each take before we did it he went behind a screen and had a quick J. Arthur.'"

For background on the "J. Arthur" reference see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Arthur_Rank

and also

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=j+arthur

Flaubert's SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION figures famously in that list Woody Allen recites in MANHATTAN as he dictates to tape while lying on the couch in self-analysis his reasons for living:

"Why is life worth living? It's a very good question. Um... Well, There are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. uh... Like what... okay... um... For me, uh... ooh... I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... uh... um... and Wilie Mays... and um... the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony... and um... Louis Armstrong, recording of Potato Head Blues... um... Swedish movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... uh... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... um... those incredible Apples and Pears by Cezanne... uh... the crabs at Sam Wo's... uh... Tracy's face..."

The BHAGAVAD GITA takes on renewed interest in light of our discovery of MANAS - it figures prominently among the many works Geiger, et al,
discussed as formative in the journal's pages over its forty-one years; Geiger was prominent in the Los Angeles lodge of the Theosophist
movement, and Theosophy is known among other things for its strong absorption in Indian ideas, as was MANAS; the journal's name is from the Sanskrit, and signifies "man" or the "thinker". MANAS itself, though,
avoids almost entirely the sort of esoterica one might expect from such acolytes, engaging with great discipline, penetration and straightforwardness the larger culture of ideas and the phenomenology of everyday common life.

Kevin said...

'All the King's Men' is wonderful-the emotional power and pacing of the novel are deeply moving-it's no wonder the author is also a very fine poet.

A 'J. Arthur' and 'Wome in Love', what a great combo! Oliver Reed always struck me as just a wee bit wild.