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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • July 17, 2006

     

    Reading, Reading...On War

    The weekend had been madness. I was changing the game plan for one of the classes I teach this summer due to the lack of stock of a book on the reading list. So I have to move things around on the syllabus, re-write some handouts, and leaf through some 300 pages of reading of another book which we will be discussing this week. All that took me a day. So the gay studies class will read Michael Warner instead of this. The highlight of the weekend would be the 12-minute conversation on the cellphone with J, who had been running errands and hanging out with friends, while I was trying to make things smooth for the classes. So Russian lit seminar, we're still plowing through War and Peace. I managed to get past Book 2 and am on Book 3, p.950, over that big sumptuous piece of brownie at SI.

    For an epic novel whose story line builds upon the war, I find War and Peace rarely breathes about moral conscience on bloodshed. It seem to delve quite a bit on man's free will and destiny. After going through almost 1000 pages of it, I get the idea that war can be a fortuitous event. It's almost like slow chess game. Myriads of causes (and motives) might have coincided to bring about what happened in war. Men who fought the war were no more than pawns on the chessboard (battlefield)--every man lives for himself, using his freedom and his whole being that he can at any moment perform or not perform an action, but so soon as he has done it, the action accomplished at a certain moment in time becomes irrevocable, which belongs to history. Can we still say the action has a free significance or is it predestined?

    3 Comments:

    Blogger DanNation said...

    I wish you could have walked with us yesterday! We had a great time...what happened?

    7/17/2006 10:17 PM  
    Blogger Anomie-Atlanta said...

    Did you add Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness"?

    7/18/2006 7:08 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Anomie-
    It's been on my TBR pile! :)

    7/18/2006 2:28 PM  

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