Sunday Salon: Week Four

Two great accomplishments this week: I learned that my dissertation had been accepted (and, by extension, that I will be graduating in about a month, fulfilling a lifelong dream of getting "Doctor" attached to the front of my name while acquiring absolutely no medical skills or knowledge) and I finished Joyce's Ulysses. It is really neck and neck as to which felt like the more epic feat.

So today, unlike the past few Sunday Salons, I will not be whinging about how much Ulysses reading I have on my plate. I will, however, be whinging about how much paper grading I have to do. (A lot.)

If I get some time amidst paper commenting, I hope to read a bit of Arlington Park, Rachel Cusk's (thus far beautifully written) tale of terribly unhappy mothers wending their way through suburban London lives. Perhaps I will also dip into the first volume of the Complete Peanuts. I have been reading about 25 pages a day all week, which seemed for a time to be the magic number which allowed me to perceive the wit in Schulz's strips rather than finding them cloying. About three quarters of the way through the volume, however, I am finding it decreasingly wry and increasingly cute, which is unsettling. For those of you who are regular readers of this complete compilation: does the quirkily (almost darkly) philosophical strain of the early strips return? Soon? Am I just experiencing Peanuts fatigue?

This week I had been reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but in the aftermath of the Pulitzer win it was recalled by the library (alas), and now I must wait at least a couple of weeks before I can pick up the trail of the story again. Boo. Bright side: I can return with renewed vigor to my other reading projects, like Arlington Park, Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy (which I began almost a year ago, I think), and Dreaming in Cuban.

Happy reading, everyone!