Archive for the Reading Category

Thomas Hardy: Character is Fate in ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’

Posted in Fiction, Observation, Reading with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2022 by Jarrod Boyle

‘Character is fate, said Novalis, and Farfrae’s character was just the reverse of Henchard’s, who might not be inaptly described as Faust has been described – as a vehement gloomy being who had quitted the ways of vulgar men without light to guide him on a better way.’

Thomas Hardy,

The Mayor of Casterbridge,

P. 131

While reading The Mayor of Casterbridge this morning, I saw something that I did not like: myself.

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Brave New World: Beware the Philosopher

Posted in Observation, Pretensions toward cultural theory, Reading with tags , , , , , on December 26, 2021 by Jarrod Boyle

I think Brave New World is the best science fiction book ever, definitely the most prescient. Huxley was writing in the early 1930’s with Stalin and Hitler around, but what he was envisioning was our present.

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In Search of Lost Time

Posted in Reading, Real Men with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2021 by Jarrod Boyle

2.

The action of In Search of Lost Time is essentially intellectual.

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In Search of Lost Time

Posted in Reading, Real Men with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2021 by Jarrod Boyle
Look at this saucy Frenchman.

1.

I finished reading In Search of Lost Time a few weeks ago, and now it’s over, there is a peculiar Proust-shaped hole in my life.

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‘Ashes in Your Mouth’: Spending Time in Giovanni’s Room.

Posted in Pretensions toward cultural theory, Reading on February 7, 2021 by Jarrod Boyle

“You think,” [Jacques] persisted, “That my life is shameful because my encounters are. And they are. But you should ask yourself why they are.”

“Why are they – shameful?”

“Because there is no affection in them, and no joy. It’s like putting an electric plug in a dead socket. Touch, but no contact. All touch, but no contact and no light.”

“I asked him, ‘Why?”

“That you must ask yourself,” he told me, “And perhaps one day this morning will not be ashes in your mouth.”

– James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room,

P. 49

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‘Art With Values’.

Posted in Pretensions toward cultural theory, Reading, Real Men, trauma with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2020 by Jarrod Boyle

There’s a friend of mine, a very successful artist, who I admire very much. I met him twenty years ago when we were working together in a dirty nightclub in South Melbourne; he was collecting glasses and I was bouncing. We both aspired to art, and he hit critical pay-dirt much earlier than I (who am I fooling – I still haven’t got there).

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‘…Just Don’t Put It on the Internet.’

Posted in Pretensions toward cultural theory, Reading with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2020 by Jarrod Boyle

Caveat:

This has been written to disturb you.

Invitation:

Summon your personal incarnation of this figure into your mind’s eye and look through it like a lens while you’re reading this. 

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James Salter’s ‘A Sport and a Pastime.’

Posted in Reading with tags , on September 17, 2020 by Jarrod Boyle

2.

The notion of a relationship becoming deeper and more profound as people begin to ‘transgress’ the boundaries of what a twenty-first century reader would describe as vanilla sex is also a time-worn strategy.

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James Salter’s ‘A Sport and a Pastime.’

Posted in Reading with tags , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2020 by Jarrod Boyle

1.

A Sport and a Pastime is considered – by Americans – to be an American classic. My first question, upon finishing the book, is, ‘What makes something a classic? What makes it ‘feel’ like one?’

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The Devils – A User’s Guide

Posted in Fiction, Observation, Reading with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2020 by Jarrod Boyle

What’s it about?

What amounts to a terrorist cell in mid-nineteenth century Russia and its effect on a small fictional town of Dostoyevsky’s invention.

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