Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stuck in Manila

I fought my urge and bought only three books at Robinson. I bought Jonathan Lethem’s “Fortress of Solitude” anew. Only because it is a first edition hard bound copy. I am lucky that way. I also have a HFE of “Prague,” “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” Delillo’s “Underground” and Cris Ware’s “The Adventures of Jimmy Corrigan.” These four books I care so much and makes reading a joy and writing a joyous possibility.

I also bought “The Modern Lover” and an illustrated life of Nabokov.

This is the first paragraph of Kafka’s Metamorphosis:

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as if were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff corrugated segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.”

Nabokov edited this by making “Samsa” as “Samza,” “a troubled dream” instead of “uneasy dreams,” “monstrous” instead of “gigantic,” “corrugated” instead of “stiff arched” and “flimmered” instead of “Waved.” “Flimmered” is a combination of “flitter” and “shimmer,” which is probably his Portmanteau or invented combination.

Of course, Nabokov also drew his version of the insect at the top of the page. Nobody knows insects among writers other than Vladimir and so he observed that Samza can not be trapped in his room because the insect he described can fly. A good find for me, this book on Nabokov by Jane Grayson. Nabokov, like the disgraced Gunther Grass was good in drawing and he drew illustrations in many of his manuscripts.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous volume-addict said...

I've had Chabon's Kavalier and Clay for the longest time in my "to read" stack. It's still laying there at a corner of my bedroom gathering dust while other newer paperbacks like Chuck Klosterman's IV which I only picked up at the bookstore two days ago has already been getting it's pages turned. I'll have to find the right mood to read Semitic-centric literature, I guess.

7:19 AM  
Blogger frank cimatu said...

forget the Kaballah part (substitute it with bulul) but the comic adventure part is enthralling. It is creative process novelized.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Speaking of Ada, I just saw in your links now that yours already has a Friendster account—inundated with anime. So cute. Ang tanda mo na 'tay!

3:32 PM  

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