Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What's so disorienting about slash porn, flame wars, and table-based site design*?

The web: yet another total disorientation that became status quo without anyone realizing it.

- Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2


So I guess what I'm in the mood for right now--at least according to my recent reading of Icelander and my tonight finally having given in to Richard Powers, who I'd been resisting for a long time for reasons I can't explain or identify--is literature that makes me feel smarter and/or more clever than I really am.

It's sort of not a bad place to be. Like, I'm 60 pages into Galatea 2.2, and, I dunno, it feels sort of just right for right now. Sort of like Neal Stephenson nerd-lit but without the Slashdot/Boing Boing info-dump overtone. (Or does that joke not make sense outside my own head?)

Now this is when, of course, I'm sure, all the Powersaholics in the house chime in with suggestions for which book of his I have to read next: I'm going to cut you off by saying I've already got The Gold Bug Variations on the TBR pile. (And, well, a library copy of The Echo Maker that is so overdue I can't even stand to look at it long enough to, like, take it back to the library. Yikes.) I'm not going to get to it any time soon, but it's there, and unless Galatea totally de-rails, will be gotten to, some day. (After Don Quixote. And The Adolescent. And Ada, or Adore. And The Recognitions. And The Sot-Weed Factor. And...everything else on my steadily growing pile of "huge-fat books I feel a sudden urge to read right this very instant, hours in the day be damned.")

--

* - Oh yeah. That's right. I went there.

1 comment:

Chris said...

You didn't even give us a chance before you started all testy and uppity and other words that end in -ty on us. My first introduction to Powers was Galatea as well. As much as it blew me away, with over half the book beaing a dissertation on his previous novels, I felt a little empty when I finished. Over the past six months or so, I have been going through the back catalogue from the beginning, which has brought me up to Gold Bug. I've been breaking it up with lighter reads along the way, you know, like Foucalt's Pendulum, Recognitions and The Sot Weed Factor.