Practice for the Opus / by D.M. Jerman

-Upon finishing Transparent Things by V. Nabokov-

The sweet spank of unbelievably literate illuminated atrocities are again a familiar thing- fresh with the average abomination warranting tight reflection.
In the face of the plight of our hero, Hugh Person, who strangles his wife in his sleep only to end up in an asylum and die 8 years later in a hotel fire searching for remembrances of her in Switzerland (a place chock-full of alpine bad-behavior); it is sure to be true that Nabokov here, most clearly in his best absurdist critical sense, has written himself (and perhaps his very own wife Vera, to whom the piece is dedicated) into every character.
The pathetic stitches of clumsy emotion and character development moving our hero thru the story are lovingly addressed in each turbulent serpentine paragraph- a technique with language that seems to slow-mo the disaster(s) to cinematically observable, absorbable proportions.
Sprinkled adroitly with French, this compact yet ambitious 2 pgs-per-chapter volume would stand also as a proper introduction to N's humor- black and briny as velvet left in a swamp, true as philosophy, and relevant as the notion of forever...

Favorite line: "My only chance to remain the same was by appearing subnormal."

Other great books I've read this year include:
Amphigorey - Edward Gorey
The Playwright - Eddie Campbell
The Garden of Eden- Hemmingway
Wide Sargasso Sea- Jean Rhys
Bluebeard- Vonnegut
Lap Dancing for Mommy - Erika Lopez

The 2 0 1 1 reading list includes:
Confederacy of Dunces
Nelson Algren- Chicago City on the Make
JM Cotzee- Disgrace
Alex Lemon- Happy
Richard Farina- Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me
August, Osage County -Tracy Letts
Tony Fitzpatrick- Hard Angles
Noise: Fiction inspired by the music of Sonic Youth
The Difference Engine and Zero History - William Gibson

And anything @ all (or more) by-
Robert Bolano, Studs Terkel, Dorothy Parker, Nicholson Baker, Henry Rollins, JG Ballard.

Good luck in your practice!