So every time I pick up something by Kazuo Ishiguro, it seems to be the only thing I read for that week, or for those two weeks, as the case may be. In part this might be because I keep looking his videos up on YouTube because he’s so goddamned intelligent that I always want to hear him explain what he’s doing in his own words. The Buried Giant, his most recent novel, which I’m almost finished with now, is, by modern standards, a bit of a slow-mover: the language is intentionally precise and outdated, the setting is something of a fantasy-novel cliche, it is episodic and in constant consideration of the slow reveal it promises. But somehow Ishiguro has a way of keeping you in the thing, even if you’re only reading it four pages at a time. (In fact, maybe there’s an intelligence to that, too? Maybe writing that’s meant to be plowed through misses some broader point in some way?)
In my car, I’ve got Tom Perotta’s The Abstinence Teacher going, and it’s more of a quick-paced thing, something that wouldn’t take much effort to read myself and is built to raise questions about significant (albeit, arguably, common) domestic issues like religion, sex, and education policies. Nevermind, Perotta’s writing is contemporary and fast, lucid and snappy. I like it.
Also, the recent Atlantic, which features an interesting article about the owners of Hobby Lobby and their questionably fast acquisition of ancient Christian artifacts and texts, and their apparent plan to build a gigantic museum with them-called the Museum of the Bible-in Washington, DC. How very ostentatious, no?