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„Stinklangweilig“ … Ron Mueck … Narodnik 22nd of June, 2006 ANTE·MERIDIEM 12:33

Ich höre endlich auf, „Wenn ein Reisender in einer Winternacht“ zu lesen. Das Buch ist so strukturiert, dass jedes zweite Kapitel von einer neuen Geschichte ist, und die andere Kapitel sind von der primären. Und diese primäre Geschichte ist mir stinklangweilig; mir ist völlig egal, was mit den Charaktern passieren wird. Es gab ein Kapitel aus sieben von den anderen das ich spannend fand, worin es etwas außergewöhnliches geschieht; in dem nächsten Kapitel nannte man es, pejorativ, einen bloßen „thriller“. So, nur zum Lesen wenn du die Sprache absolut beherrschst und so etwas langweiliges ganz schnell lesen kannst; wenn es nötig ist, Interesse daran zu haben, um das Buch kontinuierlich zu lesen, geht es nicht.

Something I came across a few months ago and was transfixed by; Ron Mueck is an Australian artist working in London, with a background in movie special effects. He produces sculptures of human beings, out of scale, but almost frighteningly realistic, and lifelike—all the more so because they’re not of people who model for a living, or are especially attractive. Pictures of the sculptures here: http://​ziza.​ru/​2006/​04/​14/​raboty-Ron-Mueck.​html and here: http://​www.​flickr.​com/​photos/​tags/​ron-mueck/​ , warning, not safe for work unless your work is okay with occasional naked ugly people.

Word of the day: Народник, written in English as “Narodnik,” is the term for a movement of pre-Bolshevik revolutionaries in Russia. It struck me because the Czech, Slovak and Croatian words for “national” are so similar.

I didn’t enjoy him in English, despite having high expectations. I started with a collection of short stories. I expect to give him another try one day.

Can you remember what the collection was called? I’m vaguely interested in seeing can I read one of them on Amazon, since one could reasonably expect the short stories to be better than the disjointed chapters.

I had Calvino recommended to me about 15 years ago, and If On a Winter’s Night in particular. I’ve tried it about 3 or 4 times since then (anglo only), with the most recent time being a few months ago, and have exactly the same reaction as you.

It seems like an adolescent exercise, well done. I don’t know what people see in it. I’m glad at least one other person doesn’t see anything in it either.

Tom, I have the feeling that it’s an attractive book to people working in publishing and in that general area; idle daydreams of what-would-happen-if-this thing-went-wrong-in-our-print-strategy seem to permeate it.

And then the more respected critics and writers work in that area—Umberto Eco springs to my mind first, but I’m sure I can think of others—so they disproportionately like it and recommend it.

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