« No dance-ing today | Main | The Queen »

At the Dining Table

Under the weather today. La grippe, peut-être. Yesterday, I got my copy of Les Bienveillantes - the text runs to 894 pages; there are also appendices - and I will try to spend as much time with it today as I can. Laid out like a baroque dance suite, the novel begins with Toccata that, while arresting, doesn't seem very zippy. That's just an observation, not a complaint. I haven't had to use the dictionary very much, but I'll need to have one nearby. This may be a book to read at the dining table. The author, Jonathan Littell, is an American who spent time in France as a child. I wonder if that will make him slightly easier to understand. Reading Jean-Philippe Toussaint's La Télévision, I'm sometimes unsure of the ironies.

Reporter Jeff Stein has been peppering his subjects - Congressmen and their aides, CIA muckety-mucks - with a simple question: "Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?" Some people know and can answer the question intelligently, but most can't and don't. A few appear to regard such information as beneath contempt. Read Mr Stein's appalling report and weep.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

I am a kottke.org micropatron

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2