Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SCORE!

I'm being told it's an illness. I'm being told I should make it stop. That something shoudl be done. But what am I to do when the Humanities library holds its annual book sale, with all hardcovers for $2? What am I to do? Going there to find what there is on offer is a mandatory thing. Unfortunately, all the big area book dealers were also there, well ahead of us poor students, being absolute pigs about it, sweeping stuff off the tables and hoarding them in boxes they stacked in the corners. Aggressively snatching books right in front of you, pushing and hassling--it was like the Cabbage Patch Doll Riots of '82. In spite of all, though, I managed to come out with some great stuff: The hardcover U. of California edition of Charles Olson's poems, four volumes of the Gerhart Hauptmann set I've been looking for over the past 10 years, a lovely edition of one of Haydn's operas in full score, and a good deal of poetry. Pretty soon, I'll have two residences completely full of books, which will put me in a bad way once my MFA time comes to an end...

Joyce Carol Oates, to me, was far less enjoyable at her reading than she was at the more informal Q & A. Her entire reading consisted of reading two poems (one of which was shaped like a kite for godsakes) and a short story. Unfortunately, she felt the need to tell us what the poems were about for approximately 10 minutes before reading each 45-seconds-to-read poem. 119 books published and she decides she's gonna read a poem shaped like a kite. She was quite generous with her answers during the Q & A, which was quite nice. With so many books out, it is unsurprising to hear from her that her "writer self" is introspective, isolative, compulsive and obsessive, but there were times I certainly doubted her sincerity, especially when she mentioned that she writes "very slowly." 119 books out, three of which were put out this year? I don't believe she's a slow writer for a second. More on some of the deeper issues on what she said (along with pictures of me with Greatness) in future posts...

2 comments:

Mme Darjeeling said...

If buying books, especially bargain priced pre-owned books, is a disease, then I, too, have been stricken down with it. Oh woe is me! I fear there is no cure...

Kristen said...

Oh Dave, it's been awhile since you've visited me for a good book troll... ;)

We're expecting the picture of you towering over JCO. Maybe she does actually write slowly. Just every day. And she never sleeps. Or maybe those books took her twenty years and she just happened to finish them all at once. Hey--you never know. Double ;)