17. juli 2006

short report on progress

Yesterday I finished reading Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans
When We Were Orphans is narrated by Christopher Banks - by his own account, a great (the greatest?) English detective of the1930s - who is obsessed with solving the ultimate mystery of his parents' disappearance in Shanghai 20 years before the story is being told. But the problem is that Banks is an unreliable narrator, and this observation mixed with the quite chaotic situation in the Shanghai at this historic moment, makes this text into a difficult web of secrets and hidden meanings.
I liked the way Ishiguro depicted Christopher Banks long-ago childhood, and the way he described the mature Christopher's search for his parents through a war-ravaged neighbourhood in Shanghai, but I did not quite like the way all this came together within the totality of the novel. I think I got too tangled up in the labyrintic mysteries to appreciate this novel as a literary work of art. I ended up being confused and exhausted, a lot like Christopher Banks himself? So this might be a better novel than I am willing to admit right now …?

Anyway, to have a chance fulfilling my hideous summer reading programme, I had to start a new novel right away - . And being very unsure where to go, I stared two. First I read the first chapter of Smith’s On Beauty, and then I read some pages in Colm Toibin’s The Master. Both in Norwegian, which was a nice change, having read only English for quite some time now.

And the books? Well, I can say as much as this; there doesn’t seem to be any similaritys between them… so maybe it will be possible to read them both at the same time? Time will tell - .

13. juli 2006

or a few more hours...?

these are the basic books in art history and aesthetics - to be read this summer:

larry shiner: the invention of art
carolyn korsmeyer: gender and aesthetics