gall and gumption

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Losing It

I haven't had a book to be really excited about for some time. I've got things sort of scattered about the house that I'm reading, and I dip into them as I feel equal to the attention they require. About a week ago I was reading Andrew Marvell, happily, in bed. I've got a Terry Pratchett novel for those moments when I have no concentration. I'm reading Leopoldo Alas' La Regenta in Spanish, which is slow going but satisfying. I'm about 3/4 way through the first of the two volumes. I started dipping into Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws. And today I started rereading Faulkner's The Hamlet. And I just got a book on Grenadian history. So when I say I'm reading I'm sort of hopping among them and while they've all been good none of them have really spoken to whatever it is my mind is working on. I think that's why there are so many of them.

This is bad enough, but it would be worse if I were not writing every day.

But at last I did find something to read that was exactly what I needed. It was Fairfield Porter's art criticism, Art in Its Own Terms, which I had read years ago. But you see, if you read something years ago and you come back to it again, one of two things will happen.

1. You will wonder at your having liked such shallow, showy triviality.

2. You will find it better than you remembered it.

If (2) happens you are onto a good book--unless of course your taste is completely corrupted.

The reason I wanted the Fairfield Porter book was that I thought it might be nice to send to one of my small select readers. But I needed to make sure it was still good after all those years. It was better. So much better that I would read maybe a couple paragraphs or a page and then I'd get so excited I'd have to put it down.

And now I've lost it. The book I mean. Lost it downtown on Sunday. Can you think of any reason why I should not simply order another copy? Can I just do that? It seems such a simple solution.

9 Comments:

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous shadow51 said...

You should order another copy. Right now. You should have this book.

 
At 3:28 PM, Blogger buckner said...

I just ordered one for myself. Was I by chance your small (not so small!) select reader?

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Kia said...

Did you, now? Was that because of my note? I hope so. You are my tall select reader, so it wasn't you. It was Suzanne. Don't you think?

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger buckner said...

Well... I haven't read it yet, so I don't know. But yes, most likely. I just got off the phone with Bob.... she's on her way to CA. Traveling a lot, as usual!

 
At 8:40 PM, Blogger Kia said...

Thank you, shadow51. The book has been ordered. Life will resume in a few days I guess.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

I have done this with a few books recently - two that I have loved to read with Sawyer, one that had an essay I wanted to photocopy to share - poof gone and I don't ever take them from the house. Duppy?

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger Kia said...

If you catch him, ask the sonofabitch what he did with my gloves.

 
At 5:58 AM, Blogger MW said...

I read the same way, though I probably have more like 10 or 12 books in various states of completion. Tell you whut though, picked up Roberto Bolano's gargantuan "2666," started a bit slowly, but ended up blowing through the final 500 pages or so in less than a week. Time will tell if it's really that great, but I'm thinking odds are very good.

 
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