Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More on text reading

Wherein heh heh heh he said moron


I've mentioned a number of times my love for Mark Helprin's Memoir From Antproof Case. Other than Neal Stephenson this is the book I'm most likely to recommend. Recently I've been dipping into it again and came across something I'd never paid attention to before (emphasis added):
The only innocence the world has ever known has been the innocence of Eden, of Woodrow Wilson's understanding of foreign affairs, and in the hearts of each new wave of children.

That's funny stuff.

At his page for the book, there's some background information on the inspiration for the story.
. . . ‘Oscar Progresso’s’ (one of his aliases) mad obsession with and aversion to coffee is homage to Italo Svevo’s Confessions of Zeno, a book that apparently no critic in the United States has ever read. This omission has led in turn to the belief that I myself am an anti-coffee maniac. Although it is true that in seven decades I have never even tasted coffee, much less had a cup of it (I did, in college, experiment with tea, but that was many years ago), I have no objection to coffee drinking, and I do not assault coffee drinkers. I just prefer not to kiss them . . . .

Confessions of Zeno sounds like an entertaining book and I'll add it to my list.

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