Okay, I know I said I’d post every week, and now it’s been at least two. But I’ve been super-busy!
I’m currently reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and it’s pretty good so far, but I’m only a quarter into it. In my defense, it’s another really long novel, probably the longest I’ve read so far this year. I’ll finish it. Eventually.
In the meantime, I figured I’d give you an update on what I’ve been up to, along with a couple reading recommendations.
I’m about to finish my master’s degree in liberal arts. I say about to finish: I still have two-thirds of my thesis to write. Here’s a lovely rendition of what I call my Thesis Monster, drawn by my husband:
As you can tell, I’m not exactly into this thesis business. Anyway, my thesis might as well be called “Don DeLillo Writes the Same Novel Over and Over” because that’s basically it. I didn’t realize that until I was far enough into it that changing my topic would be ridiculous. So I’m stuck writing a thesis I’m not really interested in. So it goes.
But what do you mean, he writes the same novel over and over? you ask. I think I’ve talked about it before on this blog, but I’ll repeat. DeLillo basically follows a formula: his protagonist finds his world saturated with postmodern commoditization of some sort (in my thesis, it’s three kinds of media: film/video, music, books), and he tries to escape it. He withdraws from the world, but usually comes back, and his quest for an identity beyond what the media has created him is almost entirely unsuccessful. (Every time I say it, it makes a little more sense to me.)
If you’re interested in Postmodernism and what media is doing, and you’re looking for a challenge, check out Baudrillard, Jameson, and McLuhan.
Anyway, the probablility of LSUS merging with Tech has scared me into working on the Thesis Monster again, and I’ve funneled most of my pleasure-reading time into that. And I have a sick cat who I have to feed five times a day through a tube:
As I’m sure you can imagine, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands.
But! I’d like to direct you to some DeLillo! I talked about Great Jones Street early this year and Americanaand Cosmopolis last year, but I haven’t reviewed what I think is DeLillo’s best novel, White Noise(absolutely no relation to the movie that came out a few years ago with the same name). It’s about a family in the midwest and what happens when a train wrecks and causes a huge black cloud to spread all over town, forcing an evacuation. It deals with death, family, religion, and general awesomeness. It’s a good (and not boring) introduction to DeLillo. Too bad I’m not using it in my thesis!
So. I’ll eventually finish reading East of Eden, and then I’ll post a good ol’ proper review of it. In the meantime, I’ll try to post snippets about other things. If you’re really hankering for new book reviews, ask your favorite librarian to contribute to the blog!