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Monday, August 14, 2006

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Alain De Botton's 'The Art of Travel' since, heck, I'm in a bit of a travelling mood. This was one of those books that stared at you while you loitered around bookstores with that smug look on its cover that so many pop-philosophy books for the wannabe intelligentsia have. I mean, its called 'the Art of Travel' for Chrissake. I circled around it like a wary shark, picking it up, reading the blurb and putting it down again. This would happen at the rate of once every two months or so for a few years before I finally succumbed and bought it recently, since so few books deal with the 'whys' associated with travel.

The book has some interesting points to make and it is fairly well written (if, like me, you only read books that have plots involving subway terrorism and the kidnapping of the President's only daughter) He introduces the works of Baudelaire, Flaubert, Wordsworth, Ruskin and the like to people who may not have come across them before and incorporates it to his own life to give it a semi-personal feel. On the down side one can't help but shake the feeling that Alain De Botton is a cocksucker of the highest magnitude. Now, it may be possible that my conviction that Mr De Botton enjoys the flavour of penis may be completely unfounded. Perhaps it has something to do with his French-sounding name (He's Swiss) that brings out the hatred deeply encoded in our DNA of all things French. But for my defence I'll quote a passage of his work.

"The building was architecturally miserable, it smelt of frying oil and lemon-scented floor polish, the food was glutinous and the tables were doted with islands of dried ketchup from the meals of long-departed travellers, and yet something about the scene moved me. There was poetry in this forsaken service station, perched on the ridge of the motorway far from all habitation."

Poetry in this forsaken service station? Wanker.

The other book I'm reading at the moment is 'You Shall Know Our Velocity!' by Dave Eggers, the current fave of the lit circuit. Editor of McSweeny's and author of 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius', Eggers is actually a delight to read. 'Velocity' is a fun book full of interesting characters as well as the boring people we meet on our journeys. Starting from somewhere in the beginning, it tells the story of Will and Hand, who have recently lost a friend of theirs, and their attempt at travelling the world in order to give away $32,000 to absolute strangers.

I have a misshapen head,
Fatman

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm currently reading a blogg.

Well-written, reassuringly cynical. Author's quite clearly insane. He's just taken a trip to - where? - Siberia I think. Deepest, darkest, easternest Europe. They'll make a lovely couple.

Just finished reading 'the informers' by bret easton ellis. Satire of Los Angeles in the mid 80s. Easy target, I s'pose, but he does write about detachment and degeneration very well. Drugs, violent rock-star sex, mtv, cancer-free tanning. Those were the days...

3:00 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

I abhor cynicism. H. L. Mencken would say, 'A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.' and how right he is. Just depressed, negative people who others avoid at parties (if they ever get invited). Cynics have such a highly contemptuous attitude towards everything because they are afraid of showing real emotions since it would betray some sort of inner weakness. Which is why they build emotional walls. They are snide cowards who...Oh! You're talking about me? Hell, Go Cynicism!

Yup. Siberia should be a blast. Not there yet though.

ps- Believe it or not I've not yet read any Bret Easton Ellis. I sort of meant to when all my friends were reading 'American Psycho' during high school but I just never got around to it. He's one of those guys who I say I have read and hope people change the topic.

5:19 pm  

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