Janet Frame, Milorad Pavic & More: My Books of the Month #6

I have been an obsessive reader for as long as I can remember. Here are the books that I have read this past month – February 2021.

Italian Silent Cinema: A Reader
edited by Giorgio Bertellini (2013)

Invaluable info and research on various aspects of early Italian silent cinema, taking a look at all of its aspects, from production to distribution and beyond, as well as providing adequate historical context for each of these aspects. The only minus is the incredible number of typos, which will most likely drive anyone with OCD crazy and got on my own nerves on occasion.

 

Faces in the Water
by Janet Frame (1961)

A poetic document of life in a series of mental institutions, released at a time when such a subject was taboo. Drawn from the memories of Janet Frame’s own first-hand experiences. Episodic, slightly rambling, with long sentences and with spare use of punctuation – a style that really suits the subject matter.

 

Dictionary of the Khazars
by Milorad Pavic (1983)

Not sure what to think about this really. At first, I thought it was ingenious, postmodernist writing full of creativity, intelligence and wit. There is definitely something to its structure as well. Not to mention that despite its general timeframe, there’s a sense of modernity about it. But I must also say that towards the end, I increasingly found it tiresome and a bit condescending. It became quite a chore. And I still don’t feel like I know anything about the Khazars. Not that I think that was the whole intention of this monolith, to begin with. At least not necessarily…

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