Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Breakfast in America

The only tolerable meal possible there. Except for the coffee, which isn't. Well of course that is overstatement, but though a good hamburger and chips is a fine thing, you don't want to eat it very often. But there is nothing else that isn't ruined in some way. Jumbo shrimp. Yes please. With a blue cheese and honey mustard remoulade dipping sauce? No thank you. You want cheese with that? Certainly not. You don't seriously call that cheese, do you?
But I love America and Americans. They are very polite and kind and open people, as I agreed this evening with my friend Harry Mount, the well-known Latin lover.
I have had passed on to me by Richard Hyfler, an American friend, some of the reading list which Donald Barthelme gave him when he was a student of his. The students all read it expecting to be asked about it at some point. They never were. Here they are.

Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Marquez
Watt, Beckett
The Marquise of O, von Kleist
The Vintage Rabelais
At Swim Two Birds, Flann O'Brien

Not a surprising list, really. That'll make up for the recommendations having been few and far between recently. I'll try to be more diligent.

Science fiction news: Telegraph roundup coming. I will post a link when it comes out. Saw Jon Courtney Grimwood this evening. He has been to Mexico, because he is writing about the poem that Paradise Lost was going to be. Am about to start The Dreaming Void, by Peter F Hamilton, because it's out in August, and it will probably take that long, because I can't read more than about 950 pages a day. He can write that in an hour.

This is pointless except in my continuing bid to look more like Philip K Dick and show off the silly things you can do with my new computer. It will have to do until I can get Richard Linklater to Rotoscope me.

Lunch was Chinese noodles and tea.
Dinner was a beef and watercress sandwich.

I'm listening to: thunder.