Sunday, April 19, 2020

Stay-at-home shelfie #23

Continuing with the alphabetical (by author) fiction, this shelf is a little overbalanced toward male authors. We have Jorge Luis Borges, Richard Brautigan, Dino Buzzati, Italo Calvino and John Cheever, among others. Look how small, though, the legendary Octavia Butler's name is on the spine of Bloodchild and Other Stories.

I do have an exception to the ordering of the fiction. I thought it was thematically appropriate to place Ianthe Brautigan's memoir about her father, You Can't Catch Death, next to two of his titles.

A Dino Buzzati side note: One of his novels, Il Segreto del Bosco Vecchio, was made into a movie by Ermanno Olmi, an Italian filmmaker who made one of my favorite films: 1961's Il Posto. The book and 1993 film, Il Segreto del Bosco Vecchio, concern a man who wants to chop down a forest, but the ancient spirits within the woods attempt to counter him. The film received mixed reviews, especially compared to Olmi's other masterpieces, and it is not easily available in the United States. Also, getting back to Buzzati, if you can find his collections of short stories, Restless Nights and Catastrophe and Other Stories, I recommend them highly. They are surreal and sublime.

The skinny green book with no title on the spine is Felicity by Susan Budd, a lovely and strange novella that is appropriately on the same shelf as Brautigan's works. And the orange book on the right that's mostly hidden from view is Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays. Sheesh, this is not just a good shelf for giving proper prominence to women.

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