Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Wow! I got to see Alejandro Escovedo and his band for the second time live last night. It's one of the best shows of any kind that I've ever seen. The rockin' songs were amazing, and the slow, beautiful ones were heartbreaking--his voice works wonders for both. He pretty much played everything that I wanted to hear--a lot of songs from Man Under the Influence and a few from his punk rock era. And who doesn't like to see a band with the cellist and violinist totally kicking ass!

This picture is a Flickr photo (not mine) from City Stages in Birmingham, AL this past summer. Though you can't see the detail, he is wearing the Coolest Pants in Texas!

John Fowles 1926 - 2005

I havent' thought about Fowles in a long time. I read two of his books, The Magus and A Maggot, many years ago and liked them. So I suppose he was the first Postmodernist I ever read--way before I knew what that was. I'm sure I would get a lot more out of both now. I never did read The French Lieutenant's Woman or The Collector, both of them more well-known and made into movies.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Master

I just finished The Master by Colm Toibin. I'm not sure how it didn't win the Booker Prize last year. It is really beautiful. There is something so convincing in his portrait of Henry James. I think it is because he gets to the complexity and contradictions of his character, rather than presenting Colm Toibin's Take on What Made James Tick. No one is that easily pegged--certainly not someone of James' famous ambiguity. It is also the quality that made James a great writer--trying to present full psychological portraits of people and their very intimate and frequently complicated relationships.

In a departure from fiction, I just started Margaret Macmillan's history, Paris 1919, which I 've had on the shelf awhile. I didn't realize she was David Lloyd George's granddaughter. It must be a kick to write the history of someone who played such a key role in world affairs, and who also happens to be related to you. When I saw Salman Rushdie last week delivering a lecture, he mentioned the book and quoted from it, so that put it back in front of me.