Friday, November 13, 2015

a book I apparently wrote

Tonight Mighty Reader and I will see Berthold Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children" as performed by the Seattle Shakespeare Company. Does this count as participation in German Literature Month? I say it does and maybe I'll write about das Musiktheaterstück this weekend. It could happen. I see I haven't said much about Gunter Grass' Katz und Maus lately. The reason for that silence is simple enough: I'm a very slow reader in German, or at least of Herr Grass' German text, which is a bit more slangy and conversational than I'm used to reading, and also much of the vocabulary is new to me, so I lean hard on my Langenscheidt's, which is a slow way to read a novella. I'm making progress and I see where I have stolen a lot of my own writerly tricks. I should re-read all the Grass novels I read in my youth, or late youth, or early middle age or whatever it was, and see what else I've stolen from Grass.

Although, even with that debt to Grass, when I think about the novel I'm now writing, I tend to think of it as a Henry James novel (Washington Square-era James, not Golden Bowl-era James, that is). Part of that has to do with setting (Greenwich Village, 1913-14), but most of it, I think, has to do with the approach to character I've chosen for this. Anyway, I don't see a lot of the Danzig Trilogy in my Nowhere But North. I see it in a lot of other things of mine, including the unreliable narrative of The Astrologer, a book I apparently wrote.

When I have finished writing the current stretch of Nowhere But North's first draft (I'm about 14,000 words into a 30,000-word section), I will finally read Marly Youmans' latest novel, Maze of Blood, which looks quite good. Jeff over at Quid Plura? just wrote about it, and I keep forgetting in the fog of war to go read his post. Maybe I'll do that now. You should, too, I'll bet.


  1. Congrats on making such progress on your next novel—that's terrific. And thanks for the link! Not surprisingly, Marly's latest novel is quite good indeed.

  2. Yes, confetti on good progress! And thanks to Jeff for the "not surprisingly." And to you for popping by with a note. Glad to be home. Three weeks is a long time away, even in such fascinating places.