Exploration and Discovery List Part 1

From my pocket notebook, a list of twenty writers to explore; a memory prompt for when I am browsing in a bookshop. Most came as further reading from a book I’ve read, or passing comments on social media that intrigued me. Beyond cursory sampling I’ve read nothing of their work.

  1. Paula Gooder
  2. Matei Calinescu
  3. Vittorio Hösle
  4. Anton Shammas
  5. Miguel de Beistegui
  6. David Nowell Smith
  7. Susan Woolfson
  8. Roger Foster
  9. Christine Brooke-Rose
  10. Rachel Moran
  11. Michel-Rolph Trouillot
  12. Amitav Ghosh
  13. Roy Scranton
  14. Ricardo Piglia
  15. Ann Quinn
  16. Jacqueline Rose
  17. Edmond Jabes
  18. Max Tegmark
  19. Caleb Everett
  20. Agnes Collard

Sontag’s Diaries 1964-1980

Susan Sontag in 1972

Rain provides the excuse not to go out and be busy, but to drink tea and finish Susan Sontag’s 1964-1980 Diaries: As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh. Like the first volume of diaries, Reborn (2009), these entries show a different Sontag to the assured essayist. The bones of the fierce essays are here, but so also is the unvarnished emotion of Sontag’s quest for intimacy and love.

The diaries reveal tantalising outlines of works, some realised and others abandoned, and lists and opinions like these:

“New” British novelists: B. S. Johnson, Ann Quin, David Plante, Christine Brooke-Rose, Brigid Brophy, Gabriel Josipovici [1976]

The great American novels of the 20th century (that is from 1920 on: post-James): Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, Dos Passos’s USA, Faulkner’s Light in August [1976]