Happy are the Happy

Yesterday I stopped by the library reading room, where they put new books, in glossy plastic, for a while before they move them to their proper stacks. It is always fun to scan the shelves for books you've seen reviewed or writers you've heard of but not read. I checked out three: Michael Hofmann's new collection of essays, a Bolano translation (I've only ever read short stories in the New Yorker) and Yasmina Reza's Happy are the Happy, translated from French.

I started with the Reza, which looked easy and played to my French nostalgia with an opening scene set in a supermarket cheese department. But I read two or three pages and decided it was boring and put it on the bench in the front hall to go back to the library. Maybe I'll have another go, I don't know. 

The title comes from a nice Borges quote. Layers of irony. The borrowed irony, the unhappy, but boring opening scene in the supermarket. Bah.