Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Holiday, First of Fall

Well, it's another comic-book-weekend for one of us and that it makes it another used bookstore weekend for me. The next two weeks will be King of the Sea, by Derek Bickerton and Resume with Monsters, by William Browning Spencer. I've just read a page or two of each and I'm not sure which one should come first, although I suspect the Spencer book should, in case of any horror tropes that need banishing by another story. :)

Meanwhile, I'm back reading Tolkien's essay on fairy stories. I never get very far (shades of Ivanhoe); however, that tends to be because I read a few sentences and just want to crawl from the margins into the type and burrow in for a few days. It must be a form of besottedness, one that responds to concepts and diction instead of voice and form. Voice, in the form of a British accent, would only make it worse (I get that from my mom, who has always disliked Texas, Southern speech patterns, and lazy word choices--an anti-heritage kind of heritage, but what can you do?).

There is a specificity in some academic writing, a clarity of line that I've always enjoyed. This doesn't mean an easiness of reading, rather it is the appearance of a well-formed idea from what was just a related series of sentences. When you respond to a poem, it is this emergence of the idea--language given a chance to rummage around in your head, pull out your sensory memories and threadbare understanding, and create in you a new image, a new idea, a new string of plausibility--that is amazing, a synthesis of possibilities into solidity.

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