by Carson Reynolds
Yesterday after six months of cramming I passed my PhD general qualifying exams. One side product of trying to read 55-some-odd texts is that I haven’t been able to read a single piece of fiction (outside of the occasional short story) for nearly half a year. Last I remember I was somewhere in the middle of V. by Thomas Pynchon. Normally I’d just try to finish it off, but I think as a celebratory gesture I shall choose a completely new piece of fiction to indulge myself.
With a small amount of hope I ordered Richard Powers’ Time of Our Singing a few days ago. When it arrives I think it will be a fitting piece of fiction with which to start a fresh literary life. Powers is one of my favorite authors and this book is supposed to be his masterpiece. I didn’t really think he could out do the Goldbug Variations, but I’m eager to find out.
But, now that I’ve started the non-fiction ball rolling, there is no sense in stopping it. Consequently, I think I’ll start a text-of-the-week club. For this I’ll choose and article or book (or chapter) and read it each week, providing some notes in this here research notebook. My choice for this week will be the oddly titled “Design for a Brain” by W. Ross Ashby. This text was on my reading list but I was only allowed to spend 3 days with it, which wasn’t enough to really thoroughly examine its contents.