My baby Biblioklept turns nine today, so nine sets of nine somethings

This blog is nine today (9/9 hey), which seems old for a blog.

Here are nine sets of nine somethings.

Nine Discourses on Commodus by Cy Twombly

Nine novels I want to re-read soon:

  1. J.R., William Gaddis
  2. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
  3. The Lost Scrapbook, Evan Dara
  4. The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  5. The Pale King, David Foster Wallace
  6. The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald
  7. Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed
  8. Two Serious Ladies, Jane Bowles
  9. Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon

Nine Studies of a Figure by Thomas Eakins

Nine novels I can’t seem to commit to reading even though I mean to and have tried a few times:

  1. Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon
  2. Hunger, Knut Hamsun
  3. The Cannibal, John Hawkes
  4. Life A User’s Manual, Georges Perec
  5. The Franchiser, Stanley Elkin
  6. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  7. Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman
  8. My Struggle, Karl Ove Knausgård
  9. Dhalgren,  Samuel Delany

Nine Malice Moulds by Marcel Duchamp

Nine great books I read in 2015:

  1. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
  3. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  4. High Rise, J.G. Ballard
  5. Two Serious Ladies, Jane Bowles
  6. Flee, Evan Dara
  7. Signs Preceding the End of the World, Yuri Herrera
  8. Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed
  9. The Wallcreeper, Nell Zink

Nine-tailed fox by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Capture

Nine books I plan to (try to) read soon:

  1. The Lime Works, Thomas Bernhard
  2. Hard to Be a God, Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
  3. The Free-Lance Pallbearers, Ishmael Reed
  4. Vertigo, Joanna Walsh
  5. The Weight of Things, Marianne Fritz
  6. The Easy Chain, Evan Dara
  7. Empire of the Sun, J.G. Ballard
  8. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, Alexandra Kleeman
  9. Holes and Other Superficialities, Roberto Casati

Nine Squares by Ellsworth Kelly

26 thoughts on “My baby Biblioklept turns nine today, so nine sets of nine somethings”

  1. Happy birthday. This blog has been a joy to read. My favorite part of the morning is getting the Biblioklept daily digest in my email. It’s opened my eyes to many wonderful books, &c., and reminded me of why I love some others. Thank you.

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  2. Excellent work so far – you’re a very precocious nine year old!
    ‘You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine’ is excellent; I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about it.
    Thanks for all the effort you put into this blog. I look forward to reading Biblioklept for many more years.

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  3. Signs Preceding the End Of The World is great. Planning on writing a short riff or some thoughts on that one? And to be honest, you’re better off not reading My Struggle, really.

    Cheers for nine years!

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  4. Happy belated birthday Biblioklept.

    I have a question: have you read The Scarlet Letter? If so, what do you think of it in comparison to the other great American novels? Would you consider it a great novel?

    And BTW, I would recommend reading (or re-reading) Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (either the Modern Library Julie Rose translation or the Penguin Christine Donougher will do), as it’s THE great Romantic epic novel of the West. I’ve been reading the Rose translation and have enjoyed it very much

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      1. thanks Biblioklept. I remember one review of Jonathan Franzen’s new book PURITY stating that romance, not realism, was the native strain of American literature (and that the “realist” Henry James did his best work when writing “romances”). I tend to sympathize with this assessment, as many of our greatest works of literature, such as Moby-Dick, The Scarlet Letter, and Blood Meridian, are more in the vein of romance than realism. It is also telling that our literary Renaissance occurred not during the time of the Realists such as Twain and Howells but during the time of Romantics such as Hawthorne and Melville.

        Plus, in terms of prose style, would you characterize Hawthorne as a great stylist? And would you say Hawthorne or Melville is preferred by you when it comes to sheer style?

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        1. Dichotomies (e.g. realism vs romance) are useful critical tools, but any great grand book will break them, or force the critic to bend and warp them. Moby-Dick and Blood Meridian, to pull your examples, are larded with realism, science, travelogue, essays, etc., in addition to their fables and philosophy. Hawthorne is a bit of a special case—I think he’s an outlier in the group that we lump together as American Ren writers.

          I can’t speak of a preference between Melville and Hawthorne—both are addicted to similar sentence constructions. Melville is generally funnier, but Hawthorne I think commands imagery a bit better. I’d take M-D over The Scarlet Letter, but Twice Told Tales and Hawthorne’s notebooks are maybe my favorite books.

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