Sunday, January 14, 2007

Beethoven, Ben Marcus

I just finished reading NOTABLE AMERICAN WOMEN by Ben Marcus, a corker of a novel, not that you should care what I've been reading. Somehow I've gotten myself into a rut of reporting such things to the world at large, which doesn't and shouldn't care. It's a practice I'm going to discontinue after this "post," because it is unseemly. But NOTABLE AMERICAN WOMEN is amusing and frightening, often at once, and overlain with a pleasing, lulling, almost clinical smoothness - SEEMINGLY! - that works in purposeful opposition to the book's sulfuric content. So now I am on to LATE BEETHOVEN: MUSIC, THOUGHT, IMAGINATION by Maynard Solomon, for which I believe Ben Marcus has prepared me nicely. Take this sentence from page 2 of the Beethoven book: "Attention is inevitably drawn to the failure of his marriage project by his early forties, followed by his renunciation of the possibility of domestic happiness, and his increasing tendency to isolate himself from the world." Marriage project? Pure Marcus! And so ends, now and forever, the regrettable habit of electronic chit-chat about "what I'm reading." Good night.