Saturday, October 23, 2010

inaugurating "not worth my time"

for the second time in 11 years I have tried to read lee seigel's love in a dead language, and for the second time I have been thrust unceremoniously out of the dream by the pedantic and officious dead language of the book. I really want to like the book, and at least this time I made it through the foreward and to the end of the third chapter, but even that was only page 18. peeking ahead I find no change in the silly language that is too redolent of love poetry written by 60-somethings about 20-somethings, all "her thighs, her lips, her breasts, the way she says 'fuck'". there is something to be said for the veracity I suppose that siegel brings to this novel of a one-sided love affair and its results, but the something I would say is that it is too much about too little. at least this time I enjoyed the time given over to wordplay, such as the following:

"while roth certainly knew how to type, and he did use a computer for correspondence, university documents, academic papers, and other projects, he undertook the composition of the present manuscript in longhand, using a koh-i-noor fountain pen. 'you'll understand, saighal,' he grinned almost demonically shortly before his death, 'it's one of those charades that we've talked about: penis--pen is.' 'a pen is required to write' equals 'a penis required to write.' paper is womb, ink indelible sperm, and the charade proves it--'ink is semen: drip erotic all mankind!' equals 'in kiss, emend ripe rot: I call man "kind."'"

clever, but too clever by several degrees, and it's in the form of a footnote. feh. for the loss of an hour of my life I'll never get back and an expenditure of my wee bear brain in useless travesty, I award lee siegel's novel a zappa.

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