Saturday, November 14, 2009

Following Up—

Keeping up with the book theme.


In Friday's Wall Street Journal Cynthia Crossen's listed five of her favorite book blogs.

I checked them out—three out of five feel—simpatico.

A Commonplace Blog written by D. G. Myers , "A critic and literary historian at Texas A&M University..."

I skipped around his blog and found a link to review of A Life Beyond Repair: Jerzy Kosinski A Biography
by D.G. Meyers ( at yet another blog)

Years ago I read The Painted Bird by Kosinski, and believed that it was the authentic tale of his life. Segments of the book remain embedded in my mind because of the stark brutality. The book became a cult favorite—a harrowing tale of one child's nightmare during the holocaust. The story, as he wrote it, was fabricated.

Then I visited Marks in the Margin written by Richard Katzev. He chose his blog's name because of his love for literature and his penchant for taking notes, writing down quotations, and "... memorable passages in the books and periodicals" he reads.

Years ago my next door neighbor Anna, introduced me to the art of the Commonplace Book. Once I started I, too, became addicted to making passages from books my own by writing them down—longhand—in a small notebook. I'm now using a Fabriano Quadrato Artist's Journal as my Commonplace Book.

I'm reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and wrote down this line… "He wanted to put his arms around her, but she had a darkness that seemed to stand besides her like an acquaintance that would not go away."

The most recent posting in Marks in the Margin—a review of Mentors, Muses, and Writers: 30 writers on the people who changed their lives edited by Elizabeth Benedict. Thirty writers speak of people or books that led them to writing.

I followed up on that review by reading an essay by Benedict about the book: Elizabeth Benedict talks about her book

Stephanie starts her November 13th blog with these words:" I’m feeling a little tongue-tied, or would that be finger-tied? today since this blog managed to make it into the book pages of the Wall Street Journal. To Ms. Crossen I send my thanks for her kind words, and to all of you new visitors I say welcome!":
So Many Books

I note that Mentors, Muses, and Writers: 30 writers on the people who changed their lives is on her In Progress List.
In one of her blogs she refers to a "rather snobby" essay by Edith Wharton titled A Vice of Reading

She invites the viewer to "Read the essay when you have a free 15-20 minutes. I’m pretty sure Wharton meant every word, but part of me wonders if she isn’t writing tongue in cheek. Your thoughts and opinions welcome."

For those who like "book" quotations she keeps a list of "Bookish Quotes"

I'm also a keeper of writer/reader quotations. Whenever I find myself eavesdropping I think of these words:

The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his( her) attention.
—Flannery O'Connor

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