An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Reading and re-reading

It doesn't happen very often. It has never been a very common occurrence. In all my long reading life it is yet a rarity. I just read a book that I know I will read again. There are many books that I might read again, that are worth reading again - those are the books that populate our bookshelves. I only keep books that I have read and that I might re-read. There are books that I have promised myself to read again and maybe I shall. The number of books that I have ever read and immediately known that I would read again is very small. Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, Murphy, Imagination Dead Imagine, At Swim Two Birds all spring to mind.

I've just "finished" reading Poundemonium by Julian Rios and I apostrophise "finished" because it is a book I am convinced that I shall be coming back to for years. It is a classic of post-modern fiction and is the second part of a projected 5 novel set. Part 1 of the set is called A Midsummer Night's Babel and I have read it twice already. Poundemonium prompts me to read it a third time.

The projected set is called Larva and its author, Julian Rios, is a Spaniard who also co-writes with Octavio Paz. Reading Poundemonium is like reading Finnegans Wake - layers of voices and meanings are larded one atop another, melding together language in its richest sense, multi lingual puns and erudition: it is a genuine joy. One's mind and one's ear work in harmony with one's font of knowledge to decipher the many "meanings" woven into this spare text. It is an eminently lisable text.

Poundemonium is immensely, enjoyabl,y rich and referential. It is a comic playground for words and wonderment. It is a masterpiece! Please read it. It is what novels can be. It is what novels should be.

You can find out more about Rios here at the ever enlightening Dalkey Archive

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