I enjoyed that book. I got to see him at an LRB event. Bobby Gillespie turned up and hung back like a total embarrassed fan. Penman had spent the previous 18 months taking the piss out of him on Twitter calling him ‘pawr bowbie’ I think.I can see that. I told you, I’m reading the Penman book that Jim sent me. I read the Frank Sinatra essay this morning.
Sounds very interestingThe Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai
The atmosphere is great- each chapter is one unbroken paragraph stylized in that eastern european surrealist noir tradition. The story centers on a derelict town inscrutably dated- we get no historical index or revealing detail until 100 pages in: 'in the case of the moon landings.' The near entirity of the story takes place in the dark. The town is perpetually frozen but never snows. A newly arrived travelling circus that displays only a giant stuffed whale is center thought in each character's musings on chaos and determinism
"But there was something else: the silence, that stifled, unbroken, ill-omened silence in which not a single voice rang out, and hundreds of people waited, growing impatient, yet obstinately stoical and utterly silent, ready to stir once the acute suspense associated with such events gave way to the ecstatic roar of the ‘performance’, each individual isolated as if he had nothing to do with anyone else, as though it was of no concern to anyone why everyone else happened to be there, or, conversely, as if they were all part of an enormous chain-gang in which the ties that bound them negated all possibility of escape thereby rendering pointless any communication or conversation between them."