Thursday, June 30, 2011

Zhivago: Facts Don't Exist

Zhivago to his childhood friend, Gordon:

“…the accumulation of a great quantity of senselessness in a notebook will never arrive at any sense, that facts don’t exist until a man puts something of his own into them, some share of whimsical human genius, something of the fantastic.”

Doctor Zhivago, I.4.xii

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reading Log

Having been sick, I put Zhivago aside for a week and read three Lovecraft stories. The three stories which I read were definitely better written than earlier stories I had sampled. His prose does still tend in an awkward purple direction, but “Cthulhu” and “Colour” both held my attention and had an enjoyable eeriness to them. “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” seemed silly at times, particularly towards the ending. I could envision animated satire of this piece. Perhaps I have seen too many of Miyazaki’s frog and fish creatures to be creeped out by “the Innsmouth look”—my mind constantly made something comical of them. Still, there were some rewarding moments of tension and eeriness. The ending, though largely predictable, succeeded for the narrator’s final proclamation. Then again, could the writer of the last two paragraphs have written the earlier narrative? The effect succeeds in the moment, but weakens with time. “Colour” sticks with me as being a successful tale.

Tomorrow I return to Zhivago in all it’s joyful sorrow and affirmation of life despite suffering.