I guess if one was looking for a literary bummer with which to pass the time, Klotsvog would fit the bill. It’s a story, written by a Ukraine-born Muscovite, about an indefatigably solipsistic woman who sheds partners and children like Kleenex.
“You, Mayechka, are made from a different dough. Like matzo. Unleavened and hard.”
There’s more to it than that – her awfulness, her awareness of social standing and her denial of her Jewish roots are clear commentaries on Stalinist purges and on the difficulty of life both during and after the second world war. But foremost is the portrait of Maya Abramovna Klotsvog: a woman who believes she is smarter and better than everyone else, but who also, apparently, doesn’t give a fuck who she irritates in the pursuit of her desires. (more…)
So, I could be a bit dim. I mean, I didn’t pursue philosophy at university beyond first year, so Shi Tiesheng’s 156-chapter stream-of-consciousness journey through life, the universe and everything – by painstakingly recounted way of Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape – might be just be something that’s rocketing over my head, satellite style, shooting across the heavens leaving a trail of profundity that I’ll never grasp, dullard that I am.
I mean, he was – he died in at 47 in 2012 – a wildly successful artist, who boasted that he’d managed to figure out how to game the system. He ripped the piss out of society and manliness, travelled the world and had a retrospective at the AGNSW while still alive.
He was also into drink, drugs, firearms and a bleak view of the world that’d make Thomas Ligotti seem like a beam of light.
So of course, I watched a movie about him. (more…)
So let’s take it from the start. It’s the 24th century, and things aren’t, for the Earth, going well.
Because global warming has, of course, managed to eliminate a whole lot of the planet’s population. (What’s a few billion between friends?) Between increasing heat and rising sea levels, a whole load of the planet is now uninhabitable, and what’s left of humanity keeps a brave face on while moving towards the poles, in the hope that the areas of declining iciness might provide a place to live, at least for a time. (more…)
So I’ve been playing through a couple of games of late, and haven’t written anything about ’em. Time to rectify that. Strap in if you’re delighted by the second-hand thoughts of my gaming exploits. It’s fun, I assure you.
I must admit that prior to reading this book, I’d only known Stefan Zweig’s work through its influence on The Grand Budapest Hotel – which is a fairly enormous watering-down of his importance on my part.
Turns out Zweig’s writing is much more than just the inspiration for some lovely cinema. Journeys is a collection of the writer’s work, translated by Will Stone, spanning four decades, all of which specifically relate to travel. (more…)
From what I gather of other reviewers’ feelings, the general position on this volume of the 100 Bullets saga – issues 59 through 80 – is confusion. A feeling of confusion over what’s going on, where and – in some cases – when.
I think this is fairly on the money, but I’d add in one important substitution: it’s not confusion.
Not Thanos, but close enough for our purposes.
It’s chaos. (This is, after all, the Land of Lono.) (more…)