Thursday, June 28, 2018

Philadelphia reading this afternoon

As scheduled, I will be reading today at 4:30 p.m. at the 40th Street Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (40th and Walnut), and will likely include the opening scene from the sequel to Fight for Your Long Day as well as an excerpt from Auggie's Revenge.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thomas Bernhard

"Philosophically, there is no difference between the writing that Bernhard did in his twenties and his extraordinary late novels. All the elements of his intensely pessimistic world view—remorseless fury at a callous universe, lack of faith in human relationships, manic pursuit of aesthetic perfection—were likely set by the hardships of his youth. He was born February 9, 1931, in a Dutch clinic for unwed mothers. His mother had been working in Holland when she became pregnant, apparently as the result of rape. His father, a carpenter and petty criminal from Germany, never acknowledged him, and Bernhard always remembered the humiliation of having to undergo a blood test as a child to establish paternity. He was soon deposited in the care of his maternal grandparents, in Salzburg. His grandfather was an anarchist and a writer of pastoral novels, and Bernhard idolized him. He recalled the walks they took, during which his grandfather would extemporize about nature and philosophy, as 'the only useful education I had.' This idyll ended when Bernhard was six; his mother married and moved the family across the border to Germany."

Extinction, V

This morning I finished reading Extinction. It's an amazing work of literature that everyone should read, assign to students, give as gifts, and read again once finished. In fact, I would reread the book right away were there not so many piles and shelves of other books staring at me wherever I go.

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Auggie's Revenge: Reviews, Interviews, and Excerpts

Book Reviews: "The Teaching Life as a House of Troubles," by Don Riggs, American, British and Canadian Studies , June 1, 2017 ...