Sunday, October 29, 2006

Reader's Diary #179- Anne Compton: Processional (FINISHED!!!)

Towards the end, some of the poems may have gotten better in terms of clarity. However, at that point I was too tired and too bitter about having wasted my time with the first half to care.

And because I have wasted so much time reading it, I'm not going to waste much more writing about it. I'll leave with this question:

What are the most confusing books you've ever read? My picks would be:

1. Next Episode- Hubert Aquin
2. Beautiful Losers- Leonard Cohen
3. Processional- Anne Compton
4. Selected Poems, 1966- 1987- Seamus Heaney

I haven't read James Joyce's Finnegans Wake yet, but from what I hear, that'll probably be up there as well.


Miriam Jones said...

I can think of books that I found confusing in a good way; ones that I find just confusing, I try not to keep reading. I admire your perserverence!

(And, thanks for changing the photo.)

John Mutford said...

No problem. To be honest, I got a lesson in bandwidth and internet etiquette.I had no idea what that was about or that it could cause a problem. A cousin of mine set me straight. I had always just used Amazon photos before, but then they changed them to include an annoying white frame and that's why I've been looking for alternate sources. I just never thought of uploading them myself. So I've learned something- something good came out of the book afterall.

John Mutford said...

And btw, Beautiful Losers and Heaney's Selected Poems I did find confusing in a good way. The other two, not as much.

Will said...

I started reading Joyce's Dubliners and that was pretty confusing ... but the it was explained to me. To be honest, though, I could of like a book that in intentionally written to be confusing.

John Mutford said...

Speaking of confusing.

Just kidding, welcome aboard Will. So would you recommend Dubliners? I should really try a Joyce, but I don't know where to start.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Maturation Phenomenon in Cerebral Ischemia was pretty confusing, but I did not read that for fun, so I don't know if that counts. I tend to stick to pretty easy stuff.

Miriam Jones said...

Re. Joyce: I would start either with Dubliners or with Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Ulysses is an important reading experience, but to be honest, I don't know what I would have made of it, if anything, if I hadn't read it as part of a course. So anyone going it alone might want to consider some sort of readers' guide.

John Mutford said...

Barbara, really? I thought Maturation Phenomenom in Cerebral Ischemia was a light-hearted summer read. Seriously- even the title of that sucker confuses me.

Miriam, Thanks for the advice. And also thanks for returning even after I fixed up the photo- I would have guessed that after me using up your bandwidth and criticizing a book you seemed to like (according to the comments you made on your blog), you'd wash your hands of the Book Mine Set. But since you're still around, could you help me with Compton's book? Is there something I'm not getting? What in particular did you like? And if I'm permitted more than 3 questions and if you actually own your own copy of Processional- could you give me your take on "Q and A"- that's probably one of the ones I got the least.

Miriam Jones said...

John, I can't find my copy in the mess that is my office, so I can't comment on that individual poem. Perhaps my favourite, though, is the one about the portrait of the woman. It makes me think of Browning's "Last Duchess." I can see why someone might find the poems obscure, and perhaps I am not "getting" them either. But I find if I let them wash over me, the images are strong. Particularly at readings; I have heard Compton read a couple of times. She's a great reader.

John Mutford said...

Mj, That's okay. Just hoping you could help. I know what you mean about "letting them wash over [you]." That's part of the reason I didn't mind Beautiful Losers despite not understanding it. I also get that about hearing her read, no doubt that would add a whole new dimension. A friend of mine recently asked me to edit some lyrics he had written, and I felt like I couldn't really do them justice without hearing them aloud first.

John Mutford said...

For a much more positive review, see Sam Lamb's here.