Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Salon


Last Week

Blogged about Robert Gerwarth's November 1918 here.

Thinking about what rhymes with pigeon here.

I also finished Hernan Diaz' Trust, a novel which came out last year. Andrew Bevel is the scion of a wealthy family and a brilliant investor in first half of the 20th Century. His wife Mildred (née Brevoort) is a psychologically fragile woman who spends her time supporting artists. Or are they?

Trust was a pretty buzzy release from last year (New York Times, Barack Obama's lists). It tells the story of the principals from four perspectives. In film, think Kurosawa's Rashomon; in books, Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, or Lessing's The Golden Notebook. I thought this was alright, I guess. It's a good way to complicate and ironize a story, as in my examples, but it's also a good way to be dull. I'm afraid it seemed more the latter than the former to me. 

From the Library

Peter Stothard's Crassus yet to go. I've also watched the Doctor Who. Pretty fun. Good-bye, Jodie Whittaker.

Quotes from recent reading

"To me it seems youth is like spring, an over-praised season--delightful if it happens to be a favoured one, but in practice very rarely favoured and more remarkable, as a general rule, for biting east winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and whatever loss in flowers we more than gain in fruits."

-Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

We're not quite to spring yet, but getting close. Definitely more biting east wind around here than genial breezes...

On the Stack

Chuck's standing next to Terence & Eric Ambler in addition to Samuel Butler.

Hope all's well with you!


  1. Trust is listed as the book on the most Recommended Books of 2022 lists. Everyone I know who has actually read it seems to admire it, but isn't taken with it. There's a lovely copy of it at the library resale shop I see and pass up each week.

    I am in the final days of autumn myself. I can feel the winter cold creeping down from the north.

    1. I certainly had higher hopes for Trust. Oh, well!

  2. That Samuel Butler quote is great!

    1. I thought it was awfully fun. I figure I'll blog about the book soon.