04 May 2008

Sunday Salon: 12 and 49

The Sunday Salon.com I started my afternoon reading with a library book: Jo Soares' Twelve Fingers: Biography of an Anarchist. It seemed so promising from the reviews on the back and the blurb inside the cover. . . Sadly, after thirteen grueling pages of verb tense changes (present, past, present, past)--which could, I suppose, be the fault of the translator--and a plot that had yet to interest me more than the back of a cereal box, I decided to give it a miss.

Instead, I reached over to my to-be-read shelf, taking the first book my hand rested on: Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. I was immediately entranced, from the first sentence:
One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.

It is my first time reading Pynchon and that first line was sort of like coming home, I guess you could say. That feeling of "yes, I'm comfortable here" that I got when I first read Virginia Woolf ("Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.")--and still continues every time I read her.

the Sunday Salon


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