Monday, July 11, 2005

Airplane Reading

Let's face it: I'm picky. No, I have impossibly high standards. The choice of what to read on the plane: a nightmare. It can't be too complicated, because it's hard to concentrate on planes, but it had better not be too moronically simple, either. I want to be entranced. I want to forget where I am, what's going on, who's there, and, since I travel for business fairly often, where I'm going.

Good airplane reads of yore:
  • Super-Cannes, J.G. Ballard
    • Absorbing, scary, creepy as hell.
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John Le CarrĂ©
    • In 200 years it'll be Coetzee who? De Lillo what? Did they ever hang with JLC?
  • Durga Puja, ed. Swami Satyananda Saraswati
    • I was trying to read this in Sanskrit and it was like closing my eyes and imagining I was assembling an ocean liner piece by piece.
The best ever:
  • Drawing Blood, Poppy Z. Brite
    • I not only forgot I was on a plane, I forgot who I was or that I was. Exquisite Corpse gave me another great Brite flight; that time we had delays from hell and I was glad--if the plane took off and I got where I was going, I'd have to stop reading the book!
The Iliad I'm reading is the Robert Fagles translation and it's sheer beauty. It's a little like a samurai flick scripted by Walt Whitman. Why I'm reading this I really don't know--I spent my childhood with Burroughs, Ballard, and Bukowski and now I'm evolving into an old fart, I guess. Soon you'll log on and see a new title: The Purpose-Driven Blog. There'll be posts about how feminism is ruining the world! And I'll be denouncing evolution and recreational abortion! And raving about my crush on Anne Coulter!

I'll be back in a few days and will try to get this unicycle on track again...

1 comment:

  1. I thrilled to the Iliad (much more than to the Odyssey) years ago. The first reading I did on a plane was the anthology Alpha One, edited by Robert Silverberg, during a night flight somewhere around 1970. Thoroughly magical.

    The one book that entranced me so much I completely missed takeoff (which I love) was Elsa Morante's History: A Novel, set during World War II.