I‘ve hung my January stats on one of this month‘s 5-star reads. Reading is obviously how I waste my days…
A gorgeous memoir/meditation on the art & importance of daydreaming, of solitude & the time to imagine, read & create; an elegant, perceptive reminder about what is precious; & musings on historical figures like Montaigne, who invented the essay form. I really loved this #audiobook, narrated by the author. I might need my own print copy.
“an essay is an attempt… to locate meaning between the irretrievable then and the equally unfathomable now.”
I need solitude for my writing; not like a hermit—that wouldn‘t be enough—but like a dead man.
We have chosen a problematic name for ourselves: we are no longer souls as we once were, not even citizens; we're all consumers now, grasping all the stuff every which way.
…in description, we hear and feel the absorption of the author in the material. We sense the presence of the creator of the scene. This personal absorption is what we mean by style. It is strange that we would choose such an oddly surface-y word—style—for this most soulful aspect of writing. … Style is the real authority of a writer: more substantial than plot, less ego-dependant than voice.
(Author photo from Internet)
Whereas the memoir seemed new or somehow modern, a rather suspect literary upstart and therefore a form that invites interrogation. But strictly speaking, autobiography is a genre far older than the novel and is hardwired into western literary history, perhaps from that first injunction of the oracle at Delphi: Know thyself.
This typesetting, a solo silent endeavour, rather like the obsessive knitting that was also a passion among that crowd of modernist writers that included DH Lawrence, a demon knitter, turned into the Hogarth Press…
There is something fundamentally photographic about memoir. Photographic rather than cinematic: not a story but a series of tableaux we are given to consider.
“We tend to think of the novel as the classic narrative form, ever evolving, but familiar; its stately provenance long the preserve of academic interest, and the centre of trade publishing.”
Book serendipity: to read this while also reading one of the first examples of a novel: The Tale of #Genji.
Two nights away from the finish of my book, I was working late. I looked away from the computer screen for a moment and there was the dog, staring at me. She was on the verge of speech, I could see it. Come to bed. Her eyes said this clearly.
I was supposed to use the metronome but I almost never did, maddened by its pedantic tick-tock-ing. It was interrupting me.
“Interrupting what, ma cher?”
Daydreams. The mind, cantering over its landscape like an unbroken pony. The piano was a romantic soundtrack, not work I was doing.
I‘ve been very slow at making my way through this audiobook about daydreaming, not because I don‘t like it—I do!—but because I‘ve been chatting with my sister as we spend this week knitting together. Here I am yesterday in my favourite knitting spot in the library at the Banff Centre, where there‘s a panoramic view of the Rockies. #knittersofLitsy #LitsylovesLibraries
This book is in desperate need of an outline and a better editor. It's stream of conscience writing style left me feeling like I was on a boat with no oars. Also the repeating got very annoying.
The moments where her prose were very beautiful kept me slogging forward. She also talked about interesting writers I've never heard of and am excited to find and read. So not a waist of my time but definitely not adding this one to my library.
I absolutely agree with this!!!!!
Encountered my first rattlesnake while out hiking today. He rattled his tail at us. It freaked me out, but my husband was thrilled.
Listening to the tagged book on audio. A slow, circuitous exploration of leisure, practioners of a leisurely life, and the art of the personal essay. (It reminds me again I should read Montaigne.)
50% Read and I am not so sure about this book. Just when I think I should give up, she starts a story that seems interesting. Then. It gets a little dull again. It is so-so right now. There is time to turn it around thought.
I have read 40% of this book today and I want to like it. I really do, but I find her writing all over the place. Jumping from one topic to another and it takes awhile to figure out the connection. I am committed to finishing it, but I hope it gets better. I have so many other books to read. I don‘t want this time to be wasted.
This is an alternate cover (designed by Brianna Hardin) and I think it‘s very appropriate! Much of this book is a musing on Michel de Montaigne and his essays. It‘s also about Hampl‘s upbringing, her lost love, her travels and other day wasters! But really, I am so inspired to read some Montaigne, I ordered an older Penguin edition as soon as I finished reading. This is a beautiful and enjoyable memoir; Hampl is an exceptional writer.