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Mockingbird … Russendisko … κάμψαι 14th of July, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 01:49

Mockingbird,  Sean Stewart; set in modern Houston, about witches. It’s got grackles and okra and Mexicans and what I imagine are lots of archetypes from that part of the world; the Canadian author describes the weather in a way that makes me sympathise with the discomfort of the characters and desire strongly never to be there in summer. (I find the weather here in Berlin uncomfortably hot lately; there’s not enough wind, it’s humid. I wouldn’t like to be overweight here during the summer.) From Sheila—again, thank you Sheila—I have to say it’s the first book I’ve read on 20th-century Texas, and that’s something.

Russendisko,  Wladimir Kaminer. Short stories—slices of life—written by a Russian who’s been living in Berlin since before the Wende. Lots of them are funny and touching; I would like the book a lot more, however, if he had not made it clear that he considered himself an ’artist’, because that means I don’t trust him to put a sentence together without lying for the sake of his œuvre, or at least his fee.

I’m not on the phones any more, as I’ve noticed before, this means my inclination to write something (anything) here weakens—no more sentences coming into my head unbidden, no more easy puns. Since I am programming, and since the development process here makes that of XEmacs look attractive, I am doing constructive stuff over there, though—but that’s even less readable than this site normally is.

Word of the day; cansado, –a is Spanish for “tired” and comes from the verb “cansar” meaning to turn, originally from greek κάμψαι.


I enjoyed Vernon God Little which is a book about 20th Century Texas.

Incidentally DBC Pierre has relocated to Leitrim, for some odd reason.

Interestingly enough I’m also reading a book about summer in Texas, although pre 20th century, Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, which is good so far, but I’m only only about 80 pages in.

I was wondering why all the reviews of a book set in Texas were from English people, and then I checked the URL. And DBC Pierre has quite the biography, too—seems he didn’t relocate to Ireland for the tax breaks,

My friend Adam in Seattle is a huge fan of cowboy novels; is ”Lonesome Dove” a one-off for you, or are you into the genre in general?

I’m not a fan of the genre per se, or any literary genre in particular, there’s too much out there to read to spend too much time on a single genre or subject.

I do like historical themed novels, especially those that feel authentic, and Lonesome Dove is that, it was a recommendation from my Da, who puts a lot of good books my way.

I think the second half of the 19th century is a pretty interesting time generally, be it London Society, Life in the "Colonies" or Texan Cattle Wrangling. There’s a lot that still hangs over to the modern world, so it’s an interesting time for contemporary writers to set their novels.

I think the second half of the 19th century is a pretty interesting time generally,

Oh, absolutely—the birth of the world as we know it, in lots of ways.

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