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The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson

Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »
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    Daniel H. Wilson 9780385537094


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graysea has commented on (1) product.

The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald
The Rings of Saturn

graysea, January 26, 2011

so, the first time i tried reading this book, i had trouble getting into it. but in the late spring of 2010, i gave it another chance... and i'm so glad, because as i continued on, i felt more and more amazed at what the author--and translator!--had accomplished. i was truly stunned by the poetry and lyricism of the language, and the strong thematic lines that emerged through uses of carefully repeated words and turns of phrase. the translator obviously took a lot of care to bring out the deep ideas of this complex novel.

there is a running theme about silk in the book, and one day i read a section in which sebald (gorgeously) describes the silkworms kept by the empress of china. a day or two after reading that, i stopped in at a little cafe in a little town on the central coast of california, and as i was sitting outside at a little table sipping my drink and reading RINGS OF SATURN, a woman walking by stopped and asked if i wanted to see some silkworms. turns out she had some in a box in her store. so i went and looked at them, and i listened to them munch their leaves, and i held one's strangely elastic, milky-white body in my hands and felt its sticky little feet, and thought, wow. this is pretty cool.

i don't know whether that would have happened if i hadn't been reading THE RINGS OF SATURN, but i like to think it wouldn't have.
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