I have been reorganizing my books since getting some new shelves and making an office for myself in the guest bedroom on the main floor. I decided it would be helpful to have a shelf where I keep recently finished books. The picture above is that shelf.
I’m beginning to see a pattern in how I read fiction. The last three major works I have finished (Song of Solomon, Pale Fire, and Shalimar the Clown) have left me wanting to talk to other people who have read them. I filled this need with YouTube. This worked but of course it’s not as fun as being with live people.
When I was in China, Jeremy and I were talking about Alan Moore. When I brought up Jerusalem, after listening to Jeremy’s comments on it, I asked him if he had read it. He replied, “You gave it to me!” I remembered that but was surprised anyway. Unreasonably so, because one of the many things I admire about Jeremy is that he, like me, is a passionate reader.
I was watching a 2005 presentation by Rushdie on Shalimar this morning. One of his comments registered with me. He said that he was comfortable with people who felt he was a vulgarian. In fact, he owned this title. He pointed out the etymology of vulgar was vulgas the common people. This is helpful to me. I know that my tastes are wide. Rushdie pointed out that he enjoyed both Homer Simpson and Homer the author of the Odyssey and the Iliad. This seems very logical to me. The “both-and” thing is something that is an integral part of my life long tastes in music and books.