Monday, August 29, 2005

Its a sleepy Monday

Today is Bank Holiday in the UK - the last bank holiday of the year before we get to December and the Christmas breaks. Bank Holiday weekend, true to UK form, is an excuse for most people to do one of three things: go on vacation, go on shopping excursions, or go binge drinking!

I have to admit, I myself am guilty of doing two of these - I went drinking twice this weekend, and also sneaked in a quick trip to H&M and Waterstones (the first to see if there were any light jackets - I had left the house unprepared) and a bookstore, well...who needs an excuse?

So on Monday mornnig, I'm very happily sitting and looknig at my new acquisitions. I finally managed to pick up the latest Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore, and have also picked up Ali & Nino, by Kurban Said. Even with a title that is more reminiscent of a Disney movie (if you don't know about Lilo & Stitch, I don't want to know who you are!) I had to buy the Kurban Said, if only for the description of the author. Apparently its now becoming apparently clear (to someone atleast) that Kurban Said was a nom de plume used by two people - an Azerbaijani itenerant and an Austrian countess, who together produced two novels. The Azerbaijani eventually is said to have perished in a Nazi prison camp, but rumour has it he died of an infection because he shot himself in the foot to avoid being deported from Italy. Even if the book ends up being terrible, I will not regret buying it because its just so cool to have a novel in your collection that's written by someone quite so colourful...

However, my new literary acquisitions should not detract from the fact that I'm currently reading three novels simultaneously. Two of them are first time reads, the third is one I've read many times (well actually only twice before). So I'm currently wading through medieval Europe as I read Amin Maalouf's Balthasar's Odyssey and Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose (which is, by the way, redolent with Rosicrucian lore - though I don't like the constant barbs those Benedictines keep aiming at the poor Languedoc Cathars. Oh well I guess every time and era needs an "other" to demonise) and am also reading "popular" fiction through this book called The Mind Game, by Hector Macdonald. Seriously, with a name like Hector, could you write anything but about mind games and psychological thrillers? Its the most predetermined profession in the world. I mean, if you want to raise a cannibal genius, name your child Lector Hannibal and you'll be guaranteed a psycho for life!

But the interesting thing about reading three novels together is that you feel vaguely cabbalistic - your subconscious is busy processing three very different stories together, and as a result your dreams are quite unusual and mixed up. Its almost like doing some psychotropic substance, without the associated health hazards!

Anyway....will come back to this blog in a bit...need to go do some mundane boring stuff...