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Pickle Me This

February 16, 2006

I'm thinking about my bookstand

I went shopping today with one mother of a gift certificate that’s been hanging around for a freezing-rainy day/clearance sale. And I finally got a book stand! I find there aren’t nearly enough book accessories out there (and book lights are so passe) so I was happy to indulge here. And so this means now I can read and knit at the same time! All I need is an electronic page turner.

I also got Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb, The Accidental by Ali Smith, The Photograph by Penelope Lively, Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale for Stuart, the new UTNE and this from the bargain bin. And three dollars change.

In other book news, I am getting through “The Decline of Britain in the World” a chapter a day. And I am also reading Walden. There is a massive stack of non-fic beside my bed as well. Thank goodness it’s reading week is all I can say.

Lisa Moore’s Alligator was certainly “a new kind of fiction” as the tagline promised. I’ve never read anything like it before. Woolf talked of the mulitudinous impressions we take in of life around us, and how a challenge of modern fiction should be “recording the atoms as they fall”. Alligator comes closer to that than anything I’ve read lately. Moore talks about her writing style in this interview. She says, “I want to break the parameters of what the reader expects is coming. So, if we’re talking about any given sentence, I want the sentence to end in a way that the reader is not expecting. I want the paragraph to end and begin and be something the reader is not expecting. But also be inevitable. If there is a golden rule, that’s it. If the reader knows where you’re going, there’s no point in reading that sentence; they’ll just skip it. It’s not for the sake of being avant-garde that I want it to be unexpected. It’s because I think a real engagement with a book means that the reader has to chase after the story. Their imagination has to be working, and it’s the energy that’s expended by the imagination at work that is the pleasure of reading. If they know what’s happening, then there’s no pleasure.” I recommend this book very highly, even just as an example of innovative technique.

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