Tag Archives: Lydia Davis

01092013: Bye, Franzen; and Proust, still

Franzen, I’ve found, shies away from an indulgent narrative about families—about his family, here in particular. Snidely, I think: His essays need to have reach—they shouldn’t only be about the Franzens. And so: Family dynamics should naturally draw on Snoopy and its creator. An awkward adolescence—too enlightening, really: who knew Franzen was such a big dorkus?—dignified by an examination of the youth group he belonged to. Selling the house his mother had spent nearly a lifetime to build—a house full, no doubt, of his mother’s disappoints—should lead to a dissection of real estate in America. And, goddammit, troubles with his wife should veer into bird-watching in them good ol’ United States. [Continue reading.]

01062013: With Proust and Franzen

Currently reading: The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen; and Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Lydia Davis. • I’ve had a rather triumphant week: I’ve been (*holds breath*) blogging regularly—mostly driven by chants of “It’s the principle of the thing, Sasha!”—plus the very thought of the rest of 2013 continues to inspire in me a hope that it’ll get better, reading-wise. (Life insists that it will look up as well, but I’ve heard that before.) [Continue reading.]

01022013: With Proust and Flynn

I began reading both books right before the year ended—on top of promises to myself that I’d finally wrap up Rowan Moore [architecture] and Richard Dawkins [science]. Those promises fulfilled, I then leapt to Hornby [nerdiness], mostly because I couldn’t help it. Proust and Flynn—the latter I bought on the 31st because I was afraid I’d get bored during an lonesome late lunch—moldered in my overnight bag until I went back home in the new year.

Rest assured, I duly chastised myself: You are doing your shoulders no amount of good, Sasha. You can at least read something and make the pain worth it, please. We all have ways of motivating ourselves; my terrible posture happens to be among the most effective. [Continue reading.]

Having reached the last page of The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, a look back:

Ah, the end of an era. Or, well, a 732-page book. I have finally finished reading The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. And, given how scatterbrained I am when it comes to short story collections, I do want to pat myself on the back for finishing this in record time: six months. Imagine that. Now […]

On Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis: Bah!

And, finally. The last book in Lydia Davis’ fat orange omnibus! I have finished reading the last collection of fiction, Varieties of Disturbance — published in 2007, incidentally a finalist for the American National Book Award. Boo. Aherm. It has been a long ride, and I thought I’d never make it. Argh. Yes. I read this […]

Emma Bovary and Me

Deep in her soul, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she would gaze out over the solitude of her life with desperate eyes, seeking some white sail in the mists of the far-off horizon. She did not know what this chance event would be, what wind would drive […]

Sasha might be enjoying reading the “About the Author” pages a smidge too much —

[This is all obviously off the top of my head. Hello, lazy weekend.] [And thanks to The Boyfriend for letting me borrow his Robert Lowell poetry books for yet another fuzzy book pictorial.] You know the whole la-dee-dah about letting the text speak for itself, the author being dead and all that jazz, the Not […]

The Lydia Davis Epiphany, Better Late Than Never

I finally figured out how I should read Lydia Davis. It took me long enough, haha. I began making my way through The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis with Break It Down, which I loved, and then followed that with Almost No Memory, which I didn’t so much like. And here came Samuel Johnson is […]

Short Fiction Weekend

I like bibliophilically attacking the weekends. I mean, although I make certain to have time to read during the workdays [train, long lunch breaks, when boss isn’t looking, haha], there’s just something free and home about being collapsed on the bed for hours at a time, just reading and not caring. So: Add to the pile […]

marginalia || Almost No Memory, by Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis and I meet again. I have been reading The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, and just recently finished with Almost No Memory. I reviewed her first short story collection, Break It Down, and I’ll mostly echo what I wrote there. Yeah. Meaning, Nothing much this time around. Especially when it comes to form, […]