march 16–31, 2017

Books

  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman, With Her in Ourland
  • Somehow I’d never read this! Or even known that it had a sequel. (There’s another utopian novel that she wrote before Herland, which I’ll probably look into, though I think it’s unconnected.) The sequel is interestingly conflicted: a woman comes back frok Herland married to the dopey narrator of that book, an apologist for America, and is disappointed by the WWI-era world she finds. It’s hard to tell if she knows that the problem is her terrible husband? The unreliable narrator keeps these two books interesting (and funnier than you might imagine). A useful project would be re-writing these two books every fifty years.

  • Samuel R. Delany, Tales of Nevèrÿon
  • A re-read: something was reminding me of this? I don’t remember what. It does tie in well with the Gilman books. I read the whole sequence at once & my memory is taken up by the third volume’s shift to 1980s New York; but there’s something compelling about even the first volume here. Will keep re-reading.

  • Raduan Nassar, A Cup of Rage, translated by Stefan Tobler
  • This turned up in Bangkok unexpectedly (though vexingly without Nassar’s other novel); I kind of wish I had a little more context. Was Thomas Bernhard being translated into Portuguese? Did Nassar read German? Or is this some kind of convergent evolution? My knowledge of Brazilian fiction is so sparse as to make it impossible for me to say anything intelligible about this.

  • Bob Stanley, Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop
  • Filling in time: I don’t think I’ve ever read a general history of pop music, and this one seemed decent.

  • Dexter Palmer, Version Control
  • Karen An-hwei Lee, Sonata in K
  • (writing more about this soon.)

  • Tony Tulathimutte, Private Citizens
  • It’s odd to find someone who can turn the tech world into interestingly written fiction. I can’t think of anyone besides Henry James who can get away with using the expression “hung fire”; I also like how the ending seems like a recasting of Nathanael West’s A Cool Million. Setting it in 2007 makes the occasional anachronisms here more visible to me; but this is a strong book & I’m curious where Tulathimutte goes next.

Movies

  • Don’t Bother to Knock, directed by Roy Ward Baker
  • Mayor of the Sunset Strip, dir. George Hickenlooper
  • La messa è finita, dir. Nanni Moretti
  • Palombella rossa, dir. Nanni Moretti
  • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, dir. Declan Lowney

Galleries

  • “Wei Yifeng: Action In/Action,” Serindia Gallery
  • “Investigating Inspirations,” Thavibu Art
  • “Photo·synthesis,” Tentacles

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