I haven't been posting as much as usual of late because I am reading and writing for my literature review that is due next month. It is a lot of work, but in the process I get to read some amazing books and fantastic poetry. Over the weekend I read Michael Dransfield: A Retrospective, a book of Dransfield's poetry selected and introduced by John Kinsella, and I can't help but be amazed at the maturity of the poems and the prolific writings of Dransfield considering he died when he was only 24 years old. Drandsfield idolised Arthur Rimbaud who was also a prolific young writer, but who gave up poetry at the age of 21 and died at the early age of 37. Perhaps "the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long" to quote one of my favourite films - Bladerunner, based off the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.
Have also been reading Parnassus Mad Ward: Michael Dransfield and the New Australian Poetry by Livio Dobrez, which contains some of the best close reading of poetry that I have come across. In other university related news, I am off to a conference in January at the University of Sydney - very exciting. Now just have to figure out how to get to conferences in New York, Paris and London etc. etc.
Today in the mail my copy of Hemingway's Men Without Women arrived, which I don't have time to read at the moment, but I was re-inspired by his work after watching Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure series recently. I also received last week my copy of The New Life by Orhan Pamuk and can't wait to read it also. Alain de Botton said that it "Brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the Turkish hinterland, the Anatolian steppe and its small towns with their statues of Ataturk, greasy bars and plastic billboards" and if that isn't evocative enough the Guardian described it as "Like Borges crossed with The Usual Suspects... You could become obsessed with this book." I love Borges and I want to read Snow by Pamuk also (maybe after the thesis?).
To add to my increasing list of books to read, I have also ordered the Lonely Planet guide to the Middle East in preparation for our adventure there next year and I have been watching documentaries about Egypt, the Moors and the Crusades. Also caught up with my twin sister and re-watched Annie Hall, still one of my top five movies of all time. So life is busy but good!