Thursday, September 04, 2008

On the Bookshelf

I wish I could think of something intelligent to say about politics tonight.  But, after two straight weeks of conventions, I may be done for a while.  On the metro this morning, headed to work, I was writing notes about the different and contradictory ways in which "choice" and "life" can be parsed--the two positions with which I'm most familiar now seem ossified, even irrelevant.  Maybe later this week.

I have stacks of things to read.  And hope that some of the books will open up other frameworks, other ways of looking at issues that feel close to home.

Am finishing Sarah Messer's Red House, which is a delight, about the contradictions of belonging as it is related to place in American society.  Parts of it remind me of growing up in the 1970s when my parents, too, caught some kind of Early American fever.  I think there was a magazine called Early American Life, from which they bought the plans for the house we moved into in 1976, a reproduction (of sorts) of a Colonial saltbox house.

Other things on the shelf:

Dickinson's Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading, by Virginia Jackson

The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued, by Ann Crittenden

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Feminist as Thinker: A Reader in Documents and Essays, ed. Ellen Carol DuBois and Richard Candida Smith  (if I want to understand the history of revolutionary thinking about women and children, why not go to the Ur source?)

Opting Out: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home, by Pamela Stone

and, still, in my work bag, still intriguing me, and overdue some discussion: National Anthem, by Kevin Prufer.

I also bought Dan Chiasson's new book of essays on poetry, because I understood he was addressing life experiences in poetry at a critical and theoretical level (One Kind of Everything: Poem and Person in Contemporary America).  When the boys start discussing the personal and poetry, it must be people are starting to think about it more seriously . . . .   And Chiasson's first book (I think)--The Afterlife of Objects--to get a more thorough sense of his own poetry was the idea, or at least its roots.  

And Frank Bidart's Watching the Spring Festival is also staring me in the face, accusingly!  It was a busy summer.

No comments: