Friday, January 18, 2008

Travel Reading, Part I

I returned home yesterday from my frolic/read/eat retreat. I noticed on the ride home that I was feeling very relaxed. I remembered feeling the same way when I got home from this thing last January. By February I'd forgotten what feeling relaxed felt like, and by December I didn't know anything remotely like relaxation existed.

I hope this mellowing out thing lasts more than a few weeks this year.

In the car yesterday I read a taekwondo magazine and the new issue of The Horn Book. I've read better taekwondo material, but there was some good stuff in The Horn Book.

First off, the issue included the acceptance speeches for the 2007 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards. I particularly liked Nicolas Debon's speech for The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr. (Which I haven't read.) I know author talks about how I got my idea, how I did my research, how I decided to approach the work the way I did have been done before, but I love this stuff. Maybe it's because it's what I do.

M. T. Anderson's speech for Octavian Nothing was about Anderson's world view and, I think, why he writes historical fiction. It was elegant and beautiful, like Octavian Nothing (which I have read), but it seemed to me to have a tinge of nostalgia, of romanticizing the past, two attitudes I'm not particularly fond of. And, yet, I love Anderson's work.

I fond that a little disturbing. Fortunately, I think it's good to be disturbed.

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