Sadly, not as much as I'd like to be, as obsessing over the World Cup, traveling, and keeping up with the reading for my class have all kept me pretty busy. But I have finished a few books lately besides Devil in the White City
, which I hopefully have already persuaded you is awesome
Continuing my (re)education in critical theory, I just finished How to Read Donald Duck
, an education in itself about the way Disney cartoons (and, by extension, all works of children's literature) are undergirded by reactionary politics. (Ariel Dorfman is a prof at Duke, actually; another thing to be excited about.) Now I'm reading Focault's The History of Sexuality, Volume 1
, which confronted the paradox of the contemporary West's unprecedented sexual freedom against its perceived sexual prudishness -- and which is also brilliant.Bodies in Motion and at Rest
, by undertaker-cum-poet Thomas Lynch, was something of a disappointment for me, mostly because it lacked both the singular focus of his previous book, The Undertaking
-- or maybe it's just that The Undertaking
had already said all he had to say. Either way, it bummed me out to no end, as I'd been looking forward to reading Lynch's followup for quite a while.
On the comics side of things, as so many others have said before me, Charles Burns's Black Hole
is both incredibly brilliant and incredibly disturbing. I just put the book down a few minutes ago and I feel as though I just survived a car crash. This is a dark
book -- and now it lives inside my brain. I've also been looking through Chris Ware's early sketches, collected in the Quimby the Mouse
collection, and it's Ware, so obviously its greatness is a given.