This past week was one of those rare stretches of time where no new reading material arrived at the Library of Winkelman Abbey. That’s fine. I have more than enough unread books and magazines laying around to last me a decade.
Now that I have finally made it to the end of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Giorno’s Great Demon Kings, I have turned my attention to shorter books, which is easy, because I can count on my fingers the books I own which are longer than The Brothers Karamazov.
For the past five years or more I have had subscriptions to the catalogs of various publishers of books in translation, which means for the past five years or more I have accumulated these books much faster than I have read them, and at this point I have well over a hundred works from Open Letter Books, Deep Vellum, Restless Books, And Other Stories, Two Lines Press, and Ugly Duckling Presse awaiting my attention.
In the past couple of years, as my lifestyle and available spending money have fluctuated, I have allowed my subscriptions to all but And Other Stories and Two Lines Press (and possibly Restless Books – it’s difficult to tell sometimes here in the Covid Years) to lapse. So now I have these shelves full of books sitting around unread as I slowly accumulate books from other places, and now I find that I need to archive some of the books on the shelves. As I only archive books I have completed, now is a good time to work through the backlog of these translated books.
In the past week I have finished three books – The Imagined Land by Eduardo Berti (Deep Vellum), Party Headquarters by Georgi Tenev (Open Letter Books), and Lion Cross Point by Masatsugu Ono (Two Lines Press). I am currently reading Permafrost by Eva Baltasar (And Other Stories), and hope to get in one more book before the end of the month. This is easy when the books are only 100 to 130 pages long, and at most 50,000 words, making most of them novellas or very short novels. For contrast, The Brothers Karamazov is approximately 364,000 words.
In writing news, I haven’t written anything new in the past week beyond some journaling, but I am beginning a round of edits for a couple of short stories which I hope to have in shape for submission by the beginning of May.
On the whole, the world is not necessarily a better place than it was a month ago, but some of the worst parts of it are gone, and sometimes a lack of bad things can be as energizing as the presence of good things. Selah.