I have had to find new ways to carve writing time for myself out of the very packed days I am living, and remembered I started writing here in 2008–good lord, can it really be that long? Well, sure. time marches on and all that. And I do want to get back to watching the 100 movies with my love, but I fear that may be even harder to accomplish. Might have to just soldier on with that project myself (read that in a whisper, so Comfortina does not find out).
But first: Engine Summer. I read Little, Big, and found it alternately hypnotizing and annoying, so I put off Engine Summer (by John Crowley) for a bit, and once I did, well, it has been knocking around my head the way the best books do, coaxing new dendrites into being. It’s a pastoral post-apocalyptic novel, devoid of zombies or feral gangs or really much violence at all, thankfully, but still manages to be almost unbearably sad by the end, and moreso upon reflection. I just finished Riddley Walker (Russel Hoban) before starting this one, and that, too, was all embracing (once I got the hang of the invented dialect), but also was much more typical of the genre in terms of the brutality of the humans who lived in the shadow of the fallen civilization. Why so many post-apocalyptic novels? T’was not an intentional selection, I just had the books in a pile, though they certainly do resonate with news of climate change growing more and more dire, and the general shrug that most people have adopted as their standard response to the crisis. Anyway… Little, Big was something else, and I won’t spoil it by revealing more of the story. Sad and beautiful, it is.