Friday, July 31, 2009

Slinking Off to Read a Book

Having let the previous week slip easily by without writing anything, I felt it was time to take a moment and honestly evaluate how I’ve been spending my free time. I haven’t been watching my daily film diet nor have I been in much of a mood to write. This month has been my least prolific month in a long time (well, ever). I think it best to announce that I’m taking a break for awhile, and free myself up until I’m ready to plunge back in.

As my last post alluded, I’ve been overwhelmed by a rival hobby: books. I’ve always been a reader to one extent or another, but the last few months my excitement about literature has been at an all time high. For one thing, I’ve been struck full-on with the realization that there are a lot more major works of literature than film that I have yet to experience. My current personal project is to try and read at least one work by every author I’ve ever been curious about, famous or obscure, and with the breadth of my interest it’s no small task. I truly wish I was better at moderation and could control my all-consuming manias, but they seem to run me ragged through no premeditation of my own. Then, too, I can’t deny that they’re a lot of fun along the way!

I doubt if I’ll ever stray very far from my core cinephilia nature. I’ve had other wave of obsessive interest in areas like cryptography and videogames, not to mention programming projects and disc golf, but film has been an enduring passion throughout. I’m confident that I’ll return to blogging as before and when I get back I should even have read the origins for several adaptation I’ve reviewed. In the meantime, I’ll be running a bi-monthly film night here in St. Louis. I also intend to post whenever the whim strikes me even on break, but I make no promise of regular updates for at least a few months.

The Film Walrus has never had a very large audience, but that’s all the more reason for me to thank the readers and commentators that have shared my love of film, read my digital scrawl and made me confident that there will always be an audience for great cinema.


Mad Dog said...


Neil Fulwood said...

We all need a break some time. Enjoy your time away from the blog, enjoy the reading (which authors will you be sampling in the immediate future?) and I'll keep checking in periodically pending your return.

All the best,


JDP said...


I hope my role in your medium-switching was minimal, but it's nice to have a fellow reader around town. Kaff Comm has been in a similar vegetative state for a month or so and all indications seem to point to its continued inactivity.

I was thinking that a number of us could probably tag-team a literary blog - something less critical and more taxonomical where we'd pull in others from the clan ... more of a conversational crossroads than a time-intensive effort.

The thing is, at this point, unclear in my mind.

FilmWalrus said...

Thanks for the kind words!

I plan to do quite a variety, including mopping up some SF authors I haven't read, introducing myself further into the mystery genre and getting familiar with some of the classics of British, French, Russian, Japanese German, Czech and Polish literature. I may post a breakdown of it at some point, but in the meantime feel free to give me some recommendations!

I tried to do the Book Walrus, but I let that lie fallow almost immediately. I don't know if I actually want to review much of what I've read recently, but I would certainly join any book blog project you felt inclined to do.

Neil Fulwood said...

Authors who are always high on my reading list:
Iain Banks (also does sci-fi as Iain M. Banks)
Christopher Brookmyre (comedy thrillers are hard pull off, they're generally not thrilling or not funny enough - Brookmyre doesn't miss a trick; also, his plots are brilliantly constructed)
Haruki Murakami (perhaps the most original and unique living writer)
Neil Gaiman (his short story collection 'Smoke and Mirrors' is a treasure trove)
Glen David Gold's 'Carter Beats the Devil'.
Michael Chabon's 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay'

Elaine said...

So what books have caught your interest lately?

FilmWalrus said...

Murakami is already in my queue and I'm quite excited for my first taste. I read Banks' "Player of Games" and didn't like it, but my dad has also mentioned that I need to give him another chance. Gaiman's "Sandman" series has interested me for some time, but I have faith in anything he writes. I recent enjoyed Chabon's "Yiddish Policemen's Union" and would definitely read his earlier book. The other names you mentioned are new to me and I'll have to look into them! Thanks for the tips!

There are literally so many I'm interested in right now that I would further daunt myself to list them, but I will post a full list of what I actually end up getting to and my thoughts on them once I hit a nice round number. In the meantime, the authors in my queue that I've liked enough to immediately come back for more include: Virginia Woolf, Stanislaw Lem, William Faulkner, Paul Auster, Bruno Schulz, Saul Bellows, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Milan Kundera.

Let me know if you have any advice/recs.

Neil Fulwood said...

Any particular titles by Auster? Although I greatly admire his earlier work, I can't help feeling that he's been treading water recently. 'Travels in the Scriptorium' and 'Man in the Dark' are very much Auster-by-numbers.

FilmWalrus said...

Hmm, that's good to know. I don't know any of his recent stuff. The one I was going to read next is "In the Country of Last Things."

Anonymous said...

Hey Brian, i had a hint of this from our recent conversations. you are right, there is so much out there in the written word to delve into. good reading! Dad