back to the bookshelf

just breezed through ishmael reed’s very excellent Blues City: A Walk in Oakland reed focuses quite a bit on jerry brown’s term as oakland mayor and his proposal to bring 10,000 new residents to oaktown and its effect on the current population. part political attack / part walking memoir / part historical journey, blues city was a great stroll through the history of oaktown which, to me, seems like the place people come to (re)invent themselves. yeah, i’m down with that.

on the aborted reading side is Arthur Rimbaud: Complete Works by paul schmidt. i am interested in rimbaud because
a) hes french (always looking for alternatives to english-american & british poetry)
b) hes a prodigy
c) he has a few poems that directly examine the concept of city
sadly, his poetry is hella dense for me and i havent been able to make it all the way to when he actually starts writing about city so i may just jump straight there.

also looking forward to finishing pat rosal’s My American Kundiman (we were able to score a super advanced copy in exchange for good stories and scotch. well, not really, but thats how i’ll tell the story) and Puerta del Sol by francisco aragón

now, just out of curiosity (and to see who is still checkin out ye olde blog): what is everybody else reading?

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  1. Prodigy is an understatement when it comes to Rimbaud. I’m missing that book too, so it appears as though I’m going to have to come to Cali to hunt you down and reclaim my book. Act like you know son!

    Leavin’ on a jet plane,

  2. you must be mistaking me for some other thieving latino… or maybe not

    anyways, i picked up my copy at Hlaf-Price Books in berkeley but when i’m finished i’ll send it over to the snackbox

    send my love to the home of the $1.75 breakfast!

  3. Nah…I’m just messin’ with ya. It’s funny though, that I had that same translation (with the off-blue/slghtly greenish cover?),since there are so many. From what I remember when I was going through the various translations, there’s been a lot of debate regarding how best to translate Rimbaud (which is a problem with all translation, but I remember there being quite a bit more disagreement with Rimbaud). I’m cool though. I’m up to my neck in books anyways. Just got back from Dodge today. The kung-fu was tight son! Ask me about Jorie Graham son! Just ask me! ;-)

    Or just periodically check Fish’s blog, since he’s been chompin’ at the bit to get home and so some good old fashioned hatin’.

    And yes, I think you’re on to something. If it is missing, it was most definitely Juan. You put the boy in front of a book of French poetry and he’s just helpless.

    adios son,

  4. I’m reading Cynthia Cruz’s first book Ruin. And David Roderick’s Blue Colonial.

  5. I am trying to re-read Octavio Paz’s Collected Poems, but having real difficulty focusing. I used to love his work. Now, not so sure. Also re-reading Miroslav Holub’s Vanishing Lung Syndrome.

  6. eduardo: thanks to barbara’s trip to notre dame, i also have sheryl luna’s book in my queue as well. definitely interested in reading cynthia’s book though.

    c dale: i am ALWAYS reading paz. my favorite volume is “draft of shadows” it feels like something is happening on some other level with paz (maybe its his meter– i dont know, i am horrible at meter) but i always feel like he is an equation that i am close to getting.

    thanks both for your recommendations, i’ll keep em mind the next time i hit the used book store.

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