Book Treats

Francine Prose. What a name for a writer!

Today I treated myself to two books: Francine Prose’s ‘Reading Like a Writer,’ and a collection of Chekhov’s short stories, ‘The Portable Chekhov.’ No, this was not a spree of impulsive buying, even though I had gone to Borders only to read my gift copy of David Mitchel’s Number9Dream that I have been reading on and off for the past week (or by one account, for the past two years, since it was first assigned as course reading material which of course I skipped in favor of other non-classroom reading material.) I had meant to buy Prose’s book as early as when I sat my eyes upon it earlier in the year, and Chekhov’s collection (that has been my virtual companion for the past five years on loan from my college library and the community library here) as early as this post.

I look forward to reading Prose’s book, and rereading and portering many of Chekhov’s portable gems with me everywhere. Incidentally, Prose is a big fan of Chekhov’s writing too, and says that if she could return to the last day of class when her students asked her what is the one last advice about writing she would leave them with, she would say: read Chekhov. I may not have had Francine Prose for a teacher, but at least in this one department I am ahead. I have read Chekhov’s short stories way before I was able to read in English, in Farsi translations -in fact as early as when I was 10 and a friend of my father’s sent me a collection of short stories from around the world translated into Farsi. I will never forget that gift, and one day hope to put that kind man’s name on a dedication page. Because of that, I also never forget to give gifts of reading and writing to other 10-year olds, like my uncle’s 10-or-so year old daughter for whom I also bought a diary tonight, along with the Prose and Chekhov, and on the first page of which I wrote: ‘To Y., a girl with an early gift for the art of language.’ She and I have made a deal that by the end of the week, she will give me a short story she has been working on. That would be a good occasion to give her the gift.

I also treated myself to borrowing Almodovar’s ‘All About My Mother,’ which has the graceful Penelope Cruz in it (I reveled in her acting in another, more recent Almodovar film ‘Volver.’) But that is another story, and I will talk about it in another post, after I watch it.

Also, while I am at this, and before I get down to my movie and my mixed nuts, last night I watched George Carlin’s ‘Life is Worth Losing.’ I have never delighted more at hearing about an all out apocalypse of doom and destruction. His rapid-fire and spot-on delivery of ‘Modern Man’ and his whimsical observations about such things as autoerotic asphyxia and posthumous female transplants makes him one of the most endearing foul-mouthed dirty old men ever. I used to stay up late on Sunday nights in college when the two white dudes who followed my radio show aired his comedy on the school radio…

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~ by safrang on May 1, 2007.

2 Responses to “Book Treats”

  1. Nice post, bookmark it

  2. […] a little over a year ago, i posted the following reaction to watching one of george carlin’s hbo specials: “…last night I watched George […]

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