During my current sabbatical from real-time reviewing proper, I am due to read , with great anticipation, Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann (received for tomorrow’s Father’s Day) and Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth. The Mann is one I really should have read before now, a novel about a composer, and if it is as great as the same author’s Magic Mountain (my real-time review of it here) – well, surely, it can’t be as great as that! And judging by yesterday’s completed reading of Roth’s American Pastoral (a truly powerful tale of genes with their gloves off, as I put it), then, Sabbath’s Theater looks even more strange and powerful (as a friend has told me when recently recommending Roth to me as a writer to try). Roth is a real find, I feel, for those who share a similar taste for literature as demonstrated by what I have chosen for ‘dreamcatching’ over the last six years…
I continue, meanwhile, to read, in spirts and bouts, the enormous, incomparable Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon, which will possibly take me several months to appreciate properly. I say ‘incomparable’, but if I had read it before 2005 (which I didn’t), then I would have considered it to be a certain influence on my own novel that was published in 2011.
“Yes, wouldn’t life be so much less futile if we could do it at the scale of one-sixteenth inch to a foot?”
— from American Pastoral by Philip Roth