Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Two things

A) James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is like Proust-jr. Cocky uber-mama's boy narrator. Aestheticized relationships to abstract women vs. strong manly love for men. Autobiography came out in 1912, a year before the first volume of In Search of Lost Time and I'm sure they weren't reading each other, so I'm not gonna push the connection. It's just strange that the lonely yet irritating narrator becomes prominent trans-atlantically. (oh, i'm also trying to work out something in my head about American fiction and the theme of loneliness...more on this later)

B) I'm trying to figure out which Philip Roth to read. I had Goodbye Columbus for next week, but I've already read it a few years ago and figure I would be better served to do something else. I already have The Human Stain on my list (which I've also read and kind of refuse to reread) but i dont know what else I should do. I'm open to anything but American Pastoral. OR should I skip Roth for something else of his era? I'm looking for a way to squeeze Ragtime on to my list, but it just doesn't seem right to jump Roth for Doctorow.

All for now. Going away to Maine for a long weekend and hoping to emerge with some new thoughts on White Noise. I haven't read it since I was a freshman, and I think I wasn't ready for it then...I recall not knowing no what to make of it or what to do with it. I'm also gonna re-read some Flannery O'Connor who used to be my favorite author as a freshman and who I think shaped me as a reader in some ways.