I read a few chapters of Japanese Art, but ultimately decided that I need to get a more recent edition of the book. Or at least cross-reference a more recent edition. I checked the publishing date after reading “1973” and “most recent” in the same sentence. When I saw that the book was published in 1984, it occurred to me that there may have been a reason that my friend was getting rid of it. So, for the last week I have been reading fiction. I am writing about it here because I think that the media we take in informs us as artists, even if that media is not visual.

books 9.21

This week I read Gut Symmetries, by Jeannette Winterson, as well as the rest of The Restaurant at the End of The Universe, by Douglas Adams. The two books are tremendously different from one another.

As part of an ongoing effort to read all of the books I have heard a lot about but haven’t yet experienced, I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the spring. The Restaurant at the End of The Universe is the sequel, which I began after finishing Hitchhiker’s Guide. I returned it to the library unfinished when I went up North and just came back to it. I know that Adams’ books are generally marketed to sci-fi loving 14 year old boys, but I really enjoyed them. They’re silly and unpretentious, which is perfect sometimes.

I came to Gut Symmetries after reading another of Winterson’s books- The Passion. It was given to me for my birthday after a conversation about magical surrealism and One Hundred Years of Solitude. The Passion pulled me in immediately. It had enough surrealism to excite the story but not enough to upset my suspended disbelief. Additionally, Winterson’s style really spoke to me. When I finished, I was so unready to let the book go that I started it again that night. I decided to borrow all of her other books at the library. This was the first on my list and I was a little let down.  The style was there, certain key themes were present, but it just wasn’t the same. I’m going to read the others, but I worry that it may go the way of Paulo Coelho. (In that case, I fell in love with The Alchemist, enjoyed The Zahir, and then liked each successive book less and less.)