Sunday, January 01, 2012
I close out 2011 with Joan Didion, her subject the lamentably short life of Quintana Roo. Like its predecessor The Year of Magical Thinking, Blue Nights is a deeply sad book, but it is never dreary. Didion at one point writes about her inability to get into the old rhythms of writing, and yet her paragraphs still drift by, the occasional sentence repeating again for rhetorical affect,her pain palpable. Her prose reminds me of Duras with its asequential chronology and impressionist effect. There are quite lovely passages about Quintana which had me turning the book over often to look at her photo, thinking about what I'd read.
I must choose books to read carefully next year, given how Nigh is the End. What books does one read in 2012 when we find out how it all ends? I'll begin the year finishing the books I've substantially started but not completed--that's the hope.