Books etc

Before I return to California (on Thursday) I plan to buy a book reviewed in Le Monde des livres this week: correspondence between Paul Celan and René Char. Meanwhile I am still reading a sort-of-detective story by an Italian woman writer, Dacia Maraini, recommended by my local Italian bookstore: good, in a literary way, full of words not available in my desk Italian dictionary (and I don't like using my much better online dictionary while reading for fun, so mostly I get a vague meaning via context), definitely not as thrillingly good as Elena Ferrante, whom I think the Italian bookseller was less than enthusiastic about, though I didn't push him too far on that. There's a story in the New York Times weekend magazine section this week about brain surgery by K. Ove Knaussgard, probably the other big literary discovery of the last five years, and it is way too sublimely lyrical about brain tissue.

Finished Joseph Roth's The Radetzky March (in French, wonderful), started a Garcia Marquez, a hardcover in English I found on a shelf in the Vaucluse, brand new, maybe never read--where did it come from?--which I left unfinished on the bedside table. Also Baudelaire, Thom Gunn, Hedi Khaddour, and back here to Auden's Oxford Poetry Lectures, in which I think I am a little disappointed. His whimsy about the young poet grates after a while.