8

too much czgowchwzness spoils the broth

Posted by Marie on Thursday, February 24, 2011 in , , , , , , , ,
Mawrdew Czgowchwz - James McCourt
Fiction; ISBN 0-940-322-97-8; New York Review Books, 1971.

This is a story of an opera diva, impossibly named Mawrdew Czgowchwz (that's 'Mardu Gorgeous' to you) - her debut, rise, semi-fall, comeback, and then finally happy ending. I'd like to say more, but that's all there is to the story.

This is my first NYRB book. Considering that many of my book club friends love NYRB, I hope I won't disappoint them too much if I said that I didn't like it.

Not that isn't not engaging. It is. The cast of characters is also quite lively. And there's the farce too: all those catty and humorous things James McCourt wanted to to say about high society, artsy snobbery and fanaticism, and what-have-you.

It's just that the book is too much: of words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and even interjections), of linguistic tricks (yesiree, this is witty, with a capital W), of characters (too many and each too colorful, like a cramped zoo cage full of peacocks).

Let me pick this quote:

"The libretto told (in details as intimate as the knowledge flesh succeeds in gaining of flesh, in metamorphic cunning transparent as windows, in plotted dramatic incident obvious as mirrors, in a denouement as inverted as words beyond mirrors) of the capitulation of twin brother and sister through a whirlwind into salvific madness, of their headlong retreat from this world of causes and effects into that silent, mute, subworld paradise where all affect is abandoned."

Is it really necessary to tax the readers' patience? Do you need to make the readers work hard when all you really want to say is this: 'the libretto is about a twin's descent to madness'?

So anyway, during the course of reading this book, a half-formed suspicion germinated in my mind regarding NYRB's choice of so-called 'classics'. I'd like to be proven wrong, of course; that would mean I need to read at least one or two NYRB books again. Uh huh, my enthusiasm is killing me. -_-

So to those who had read other NYRB books, any suggestion on which ones to get next?

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11

pimpin' my new crib

Posted by Marie on Wednesday, February 09, 2011 in , ,
This blog post is not about books. It mostly contain boring pictures of an empty house. You've been warned.

Last year, I moved out of the city and bought a house in the countryside.

To say that everyone was surprised is a big understatement. You see, I'm a city girl through and through. I know Metro Manila almost like the back of my hand. I never had a province to go to during the summer break. I know how to cross a street filled with vehicles by the time I was seven. By the time I was in elementary, I sometimes go to school without adult supervision via public transportation. And my school was in Tondo, Manila two and a half miles from my home in Valenzuela, near Bulacan.

So anyway, I had always dreamed of having a place of my own, at least someplace to stash all my stuff away. The story of how I got this new house can fill out two or three long blog post, and would probably bore you to tears (actually even *this* post is probably going to bore you tears). I'm just going to show what the place looked like when I first moved in.

The stairs and my uber-mini kitchen from the living room. And since the kitchen is small, I'm going to do my actual cooking in the dirty kitchen at the back of the house:

I have two toilets: one for myself and one for my cat. How cool is that? :)

The partial view of the living room from the top of the stairs.

Second floor: On the left is the room I'm using now as the main (i.e. my) bedroom. On the right is a small room that's supposed to be a guest room but I won't since it's embarrassingly tiny. I'm currently using it as a storage room. In between these two room is the stairs to the attic.


The attic. Which I've now filled with books in their nice new bookshelves. After I solve the problem of making this space less stifling hot during the afternoons, I intend to stay here for the rest of my spinsterish life. Yeah, maybe I'm serious. Or maybe I'm not. Who knows?

The exteriors. This is actually a duplex (if only I have enough funds to take over the other half!). Taken from the space that's supposed to be the garage. It will be filled with a brand new car, hopefully soon.

I dedicate this blog post to Blooey who said I should write something about my new home, sort of like a blog of the (mis)adventures of a "city girl moving to the countryside setting up a house of her own". Oh come on, I'm not anything like Max Skinner (the protagonist of Peter Mayle's A Good Year - I suggest reading the book to know the connection). And I think it's too early to say that the province of Rizal is going to be my personal Provence.

What do you guys think?


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