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I am not sure how to start a blog post anymore. But I am running on very little sleep (averaging about 5 hours these days), so we shall forgo the creativity today and just write some words!

Work has kept me insanely busy lately, and between that and other endeavors, I haven’t had the wherewithal to do much reading. There is something nice, however, about the little reading that I have done; it lends it a bit more weight, maybe. (One likes to tell oneself.)

I finished part 4 (of 6) of Crime and Punishment a week or two ago. It was very satisfying to see Raskolnikov’s sister finally stand up for herself and confront her slimy fiancé. Then we had Raskolnikov’s harrowing “interview” with the detective, which has got to be one of the craziest conversations in the Dostoyevsky-verse. Good times. But even at two-thirds read, this book still feels like it has a lot of development to do. It is proto-modern in its leisurely pacing and (as one friend described it to me) cyclical plot.

My current focus is still Joyce’s Dubliners. I am halfway through these short stories and still enjoying them greatly. Many of them are quite bleak, but as a whole they are brilliantly written and often end with a poignant twist. His writing in this collection is deft and concise, a far cry from Conrad’s psychological verbosity—both greats of their time, yet so different from each other. So if you are intimidated by Joyce, Dubliners seems like a decent starting point and don’t worry about it being Conradian.

Lastly, a friend and I read aloud “To Build a Fire” by Jack London. We were both expecting something more shocking, but it is a simple story and very simply told. It follows a man who takes a foolish trip solo in far-below freezing temperatures, accompanied by his dog. To say anything more would spoil what little interest there is. It’s a great concept for a story, but the writing was underwhelming and nowhere near London’s best. If you are looking for an unnerving story of the wilderness, perhaps read Algernon Blackwood’s “The Wendigo” instead.


6 responses to “February Lately”

  1. Cyberkitten Avatar
    Cyberkitten

    Sleep is Good. May I recommend doing more of it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Nooo I need more free time 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. smellincoffee Avatar

    Five hours? Mercy. Sounds like me before I was hospitalized. Hope things slow down for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Thanks, me too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cirtnecce Avatar

    Ok…from someone been there done that and also as you know fell sick last year – 3 basics that cannot be compromised – sleep, food, water and some activity (I know that is 4 ) I know the need for free time, but if you sleep well, you will realize tasks get done more quickly and you actually have more free time. Trust me, tried and tested! And yes, reading less but reading substantial works is also a great way to continue exploring books so don’t stop!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marian Avatar

      A good reminder — I’m sure you’re right, Cirtnecce! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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